Book è The Worst Hard Time The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl Ê 352 pages ¹ Timothy egan

Epub The Worst Hard Time The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

Book è The Worst Hard Time The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl Ê 352 pages ¹ Timothy egan ¹ ➾ The Worst Hard Time The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl Free ➵ AuthE opens up with urgency and respect” New York TimesIn an era that promises ever greater natural disasters The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” Austin Statesman Journal on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful cautionary tale about the dangers of trifling with natur I have about a week to read this for book club and I've got a lot of books in progress that I hate to set aside so we'll see how this goesUPDATE I gave up I must be the only person on the planet who didn't like this book I found the writing to be overblown over the top even silly at times The way it was organized didn't work for me He'd introduce a person or family and I'd start to get interested and then he'd abandon them and go back to large sweeping passages about the land which made me start to nod offHad he chosen one person or family to tell the story through it could have been fascinating Especially if he'd told it straight and without the grating phrasing

Timothy Egan è The Worst Hard Time The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl Ebook

The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since Timothy Egan’s critically acclaimed account rescues this iconic chapter of American history from the shadows in a tour de force of historical reportage Following a dozen families and their communities through t A good booka thorough historybut dry as a throat full of sawdust in the middle of the desert That about sums it up but of course I will continue to babble on for a few paragraphs Before reading this book I knew next to nothing about the Dust Bowl and the cataclysmic storms that occurred in the 1930‘s primarily in the area of the US known as the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma see map If you're like me in this respect than this book is a very worthwhile read assuming you have at least a slight interest in the history of this period Looking at the photos above and reading descriptions of the sky appearing as if a black curtain had been draped over the sky an effect that could last days at a time was a serious jaw falling with concomitant eye bulge experience As the book chronicles the dust storms were caused by decades of massive over farming in the panhandles and surrounding areas without the use of wind erosion prevention techniues eg crop rotation cover crops and use of fallow fields Add to this man made component mother nature's contribution of a severe and prolonged drought and you have all the makings of a seriously horrific dust up The over farming was the result of the momentous drop in commodity prices that followed the Stock Market Crash of 1929 The price of wheat corn and other crops grown in the panhandles plummeted forcing farmers to farm and land and often just to try and make ends meet Unfortunately this increased in the volume of these commodities along with a sharp decrease in demand resulting from the Great Depression caused the plummeting prices to move into crash mode where they free fell further and faster than Brittany Spears reputation and self esteem It was the disastrous crushing economic conditions facing these farmers that made the onset the fierceness and the prolonged nature of the “Dust Bowl” truly worthy of the title “The Worst Hard Time” The author does a good job of laying out the facts in a very readable manner   Thus as a history book this novel is excellent It cogently lays out the history of the region going back to its settlement by mostly German Russian immigrants It also gives a decent background of the situation in the rest of the US and provides a good step by step progression of the events leading up to the beginning of the dust storms in the early 1930s So why only 3 stars? Mostly because I've been seriously spoiled by historical writers like David McCullough Barbara Tuchman and Gordon Wood These three and several others that I am sure I am forgetting right now write amazingly detailed histories while at the same time providing such rich and engaging background and individual anecdotes that their histories come alive and you feel immersed in the period Odd as it sounds I guess you could say that I was disappointed that I didn’t feel sacks of dust pouring into my mouth or the blinding sting of the storm ripping into my skin I wanted Mr Egan to throw me in the middle of Black Sunday and tell me to hold on for dear life Instead I mostly got dryness no pun I got less than compelling personal stories and no real emotional evocation or dramatic tension It was the story of the dust storms as done by CNN when what I really wanted was a stellar kick ass miniseries by HBO Granted these criticisms are mostly the result of McCullough Tuchman and Wood being such saucy bitches that they make everyone else look bad by comparison That is probably unfair to Mr Egan but in the cut throat sink or swim world of competitive history writing I say tough mammaries Mr Egan Sack up and step up your drama Still a good well researched history about an intriguing and previously mysterious period but a little too dry and textbook like to earn a 4th star from me 3 0 stars Recommended

Ebook ï The Worst Hard Time The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl è Timothy Egan

The Worst Hard Time The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust BowlHe rise and fall of the region Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards crop failure and the death of loved ones Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe Egan does eual justice to the human characters who become his heroes “the stoic long suffering men and women whose lives h I read a fair amount of history and I usually enjoy it but I don’t think I’ve ever read a history book that was uite the page turner this one was What I knew before about the 1930s drought in the American Dust Bowl was this there was an agriculture destroying drought in and around Texas and Oklahoma during the Great Depression that made the economic devastation there even worse What I learned here through the personal stories of the people and towns affected was that the Dust Bowl was a man made disaster of the first order an environmental catastrophe due largely to human error ignorance and greed The climatic conditions of the prairies were just not suited to intensive agriculture a fact that was roundly ignored The zeal of the homesteaders who settled the great grasslands of the Midwest may have appeared at the time to be fulfilling the American destiny of westward expansion and progress through the virtuous traits of industry and capitalistic success as they planted bumper crops of wheat in response to high demand for grain But the farming practices launched with such enthusiasm in the early part of the century would bring destruction that proved impossible to control or repair Ecosystems are delicate things There are valuable lessons to be learned here “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it etcDescriptions of weather related events throughout the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles in that era are almost unbelievable Thousands of tons of dirt went airborne on a regular basis Often it sounds like something out of a sci fi book set on another planet or a story of post apocalyptic climate change with barren landscapes unable to sustain any crops or vegetation Cattle would go blind and die with their stomachs full of dirt; babies succumbed to “dirt pneumonia” The regional economy aggravated by the general financial crises that caused and were then sustained by the Depression tanked completely There was no economy Many lived by barter and in sod houses Even if the houses were not made of sod they were full of dirt absolutely all of the time from the constant heavy dust storms despite every attempt to seal doors and windows with damp cloth and tape Summer ground temperatures in the summer could reach 150 degrees Static electricity from the dust storms would stall a moving car or knock a man down if he touched another person And yet people stayed reluctant to leave what they knew just to end up in a bread line in a cold anonymous city somewhere I was on the phone to my mother a couple of times looking for details about her grandparents who had lived near Amarillo Her mother got out of there young and came to California in the ‘20s so she missed this episode in Texas history And my mom was too young in the '30s to have been told about the distant family’s hardships All she knows is she thinks her grandfather had some sort of leather goods business saddles and harnesses perhaps but he was “not very successful” which I think would have been par for that particular courseEgan uses the life stories of several different families to illustrate the hardships common in both farms and towns There are some heart breaking tales a family trying to bury both a baby and a grandmother on the day of a tremendously brutal dust storm “Black Sunday 1935” diary excerpts of a older childless farmer on the Kansas Nebraska border his alfalfa crop dead on the verge of losing his last horses alone and separated from his wife who has had to take a job in the city This is a wonderful piece of research and scholarship told in an engaging manner that brings these experiences to life a great tribute to the memories of those who lived through it