I have always been fascinated by the grit and determination of those who lived through the Great Depression. Throw in years of horrific weather events (drought, heat, dust storms) and it made a pretty bad situation even worse.
This book describes many families in many places during the Great American Dust Bowl. This is both a strength and a weakness; it rounds out the experiences of different people and families, but also jumps around some and doesn't really give us a chance to get to know any locales or families.
That having been said, this book is compelling reading, describing the history of the land, what may have caused the Great American Dust Bowl, and the tales of those who stayed, those who left, and those who lost.
I love literary fiction and I occasionally delve into non-fiction. I love books that are suspenseful and am really into well-told stories.
I don't typically read non-fiction, but I truly loved this book. What amazes me is that we cannot learn to save our planet based on a mistake we made in the 30's.
I really don't know how to heap more praise on this worthy book than has already been heaped... but if you haven't read it, it is beautifully performed and the research behind it seems solid.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
This was a great book about a man made disaster that is glossed over in history classes I took. In fact everything having to do with the great depression is glossed over and with the statement that no one really knows what caused all the trouble.
Well that's actually not true, we know exactly what caused this disaster, greed, ignorance, lack of regulation. But people that say our actions do not affect our environment don't want anyone to hear about stuff like this.
I would definitely read this book again. It tells a story of the 1930's dustbowl era as a "perfect storm" of events that lead to this time. From the push to inhabit the land, to the demand for wheat in WWI and it's eventual collapse and finally, the drought that ravaged the land
I would compare this book to Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman. The rush to inhabit the land of the midwest, from the lending practices to the advertisements of "dry farming," and the eventual market crash is not unlike the 2008 housing crisis. As a business major, I found many comparisons of the two events.
I admired all the characters.
The story was so compelling and held my interest, I wish I could have read it all in one setting.
If you read this book, you see where history has repeated itself time and time again.
I no longer live in Worcester. I now live in Brooklyn, NY.
Now I understand why great grandfather, a large landholder, lost most of his Nebraska farmland in the 1920's.I mistakenly assumed it was connected to the stock market crash.
Listening to this book I cannot help but relate it to the drought situation in the west right now. Don't we learn from history? What will happen when the underground lakes are emptied? This story of the dust bowl really made me stop and think about our future.
This book was recommended to me by a colleague whom said it was excellent and whose daughter also gave positive marks. After completing, I have mixed reviews. I was looking forward to the story but by the end of the book I feel like the countless anecdotes of suffering in the Oklahoma dust could have been replaced with a more diverse dialog realted to different economic classes among the story tellers.
The story started out well and I was glued for the first third to first half of the book by learning about the predicament of the country in 1929 and into the 30’s. After the first 2-3 stories of the dust storms and how they affected everyone, I got bored. I mean, how many different ways can you slice those tales before they start to sound the same? I kept asking myself “When will this end?” so I could get to the (epilogue) and learn the final outcome and what affect the Dust Bowl had on farming in today’s economy.
Ken Burns does an excellent job (as usual) in keeping the listener engaged with a style of story-telling that is often unmatched. That combined with a slice in American history that needed to be told was what I needed to make the selection. The story as a whole was good, and I did enjoy it, I just became tired of hearing the (what seemed like) repeated stories of suffering amongst a similar class of people. The fall of the Stock market had my ear and so did the tales of speculators trying to find their pot of gold by farming in the central plains, but the repetition of inhaling dust dragged a bit.
Don’t take it from me. Maybe you’ll see it differently.
Yes. Narrator Patrick Lawlor has great voice inflection. Tells a very entertaining story about the dust bowl.
I think Alfafa Bill, the Governor of Oklahoma
You can imagine the people actually talking in their accents.
Made me appreciate the grit and persistence of the dust bowl people. made me appreciate my easy life.
I'm guessing not although the narrator was quite good.
Everything I learned about the great dust bowl and the hard times people experienced and lived through.
I had no favorite character in this read.
Not one, but many--the years people spent on the unforgiving land, still hoping for the best.
A great read for everyone who doesn't appreciate the hardships people can endure.
This is an excellent history of the dust bowl. I learned so much that American history books treat as an insignificant footnote to history. The entire episode threatened America's ability to feed itself. Thousands died, many more were run off of their land. I had never heard of "Dust Pneumonia" before reading this. After reading it I asked my parents and got another lesson about our family history, the history of the west and American history.
This is a significant event in our history and should be treated that way. Since our collective American propensity for revisionist history is so strong we should all take more time to read more about our collective history. This is one of the books that should be on your list to read.
Impact, people and policies are all explored, fleshed out over time. It seems slightly shorter period than the actural history. Sure to change the way you look at the land.
It is hard to imagine a situation in which you can not excape getting dust in the lungs of children.
This is a compelling story that is emotionally rich, but experientially exhausting and surely I would have put this down long before I finished had the voice not continued to another dimension of the story.
You'll be surprized to find you don't actually have to shake dust off by the end..