We have all heard about the Dust Bowl in grade school but the horribleness never really sunk in. I didn't know it lasted years and the extent to which the area was destroyed. The book takes you on a journey from when the land was beautiful prairie for the cowboys and American Indians and then discusses how the cultivation of the land led to a fantastic bounty which led to its demise. And as bad as things got, people wouldn't leave - some out of choice and some because they refused to let go of their dreams. We learn about things that are so heartbreaking and we hope nothing this horrible ever happens again.
One of the best books of the year - highly recommended.
I think Timothy Egan’s approach to retelling history through individual stories and personal perspective is a powerful way to study the past. Like the Big Burn (also a very good read) Egan gathers general information, personal testimony and personal narrative to explain this era of our history in wonderful detail. Patrick Lawlor does a great job narrating. This is a must listen.
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..
The best ever.
None. I've not read another book of non-fiction that I've liked this much.
You could imagine that you were there.
This reader did not know how to pronounce a lot of common vocabulary. The only vocal "expression" he used was to change his voice, when reading a quote, to a fake southern/western accent that sounded like Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies. Did you know that everyone (men and women) in the Dust Bowl talked like Granny of the Beverly Hillbillies? His voice was pinched and labored, and with all the mispronounced words, sounded uncomfortable.His vocal delivery was so grating that it was hard to concentrate on the actual content of the text.
The actual content of the book is a valuable resource and witness to the need for better stewardship of the land.
The author combined facts with stories of individuals who endured these difficult times.
The narrator needs to learn vocabulary and pronunciation, for starts. Take some lessons in vocal production and breath support. Stop quoting everyone with a fake southern accent.
Noteworthy book, made almost unbearable by a disappointing reading performance.
I'm glad I have both a print and audio edition. This allows me to search for particular segments more efficiently than if I just had the audio edition.
The most shocking and memorable moments of THE WORST HARD TIMES were the descriptions of the enormous, roiling curtains of earth that swamped the area. I had heard about the wet sheets being strung up over windowns and doors to keep the dust out from my husband who grew up in the sand hills of eastern Colorado, but I never imagined the suffocating density of those storms. Hearing about them made me feel as if I were choking myself.
I don't know if I would describe the scene that most impressed me as "my favorite," but the scene that had the most impact for me was the one in which the farmer had to kill a newly born calf so that his childrent could have the mother's milk for sustinance.
It made made feel extremely anxious about our thoughtless draining of the acquifer that underlies the mid-west.
A thought provoking story. I highly recommend it.
This book ranks in my top 5 of the audio history books I have.
The story can move a bit slowly at times, but patience will reward the listener with a great deal of understanding. This book covers period that all to often gets jumbled in with the Great Depression without being told in it's own right.
I am so glad that I listened to this book before Ken Burn's documentary on the Dust Bowls comes out in November, 2012