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Wendy SmithTimothy Egan's searing history of the economic and ecological collapse of the southern Great Plains during the 1930s is an epic cautionary tale. Intertwining the stories of roughly a dozen individuals and families with a grim overview of the region-wide disaster, Egan's fluent narrative chronicles the terrifying consequences of a reckless hubris that in a few decades stripped the earth of prairie grass that for centuries had protected it from erosion. The American people and their government collaborated in transforming a sea of waving, waist-high bluestem -- described by William Clark on his expedition west with Meriwether Lewis in 1804 as "one of the most pleasing prospects I ever beheld" -- into a blasted landscape of abandoned farms surrounded by four-foot drifts of dust, scattered with dead farm animals and useless equipment.
— The Washington Post