We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl | [Timothy Egan]

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

The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.
Regular Price:$24.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2006

The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod huts to new framed houses to huddling in basements with the windows sealed by damp sheets in a futile effort to keep the dust out.

He follows their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Drawing on the voices of those who stayed and survived, those who, now in their eighties and nineties, will soon carry their memories to the grave, Egan tells a story of endurance and heroism against the backdrop of the Great Depression.

Egan captures the very voice of the time, its grit, pathos, and abiding heroism, as only great history can. Combining the human drama of Isaac's Storm with the sweep of The American People in the Great Depression, The Worst Hard Time is a lasting and important work of American history.

Bonus: In partnership with Audible and Playtone, the television and film producer behind the award-winning series Band of Brothers, John Adams, and The Pacific, this audiobook includes an original introduction, written and read by acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns. For more from Audible and Playtone, click here.


©2005 Timothy Egan (P)2006 Tantor Media

What the Critics Say

"With characters who seem to have sprung from a novel by Sinclair Lewis or Steinbeck, and Egan's powerful writing, this account will long remain in readers' minds." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1476 )
5 star
 (593)
4 star
 (528)
3 star
 (243)
2 star
 (69)
1 star
 (43)
Overall
4.2 (887 )
5 star
 (414)
4 star
 (297)
3 star
 (121)
2 star
 (40)
1 star
 (15)
Story
4.1 (870 )
5 star
 (374)
4 star
 (314)
3 star
 (131)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (25)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Randi Lansford 07-20-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I had hoped for"
    What disappointed you about The Worst Hard Time?

    I think it was a rather boring set of stories about unconnected families and the hardship they suffered. I suppose it could have been interesting, had we not been lulled to a point of losing the line of the story.


    What could Timothy Egan have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Made the stories more interesting? Or have a different narrator? I don't know, it just all seemed bland.


    Did Patrick Lawlor do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He sort of droned on and was easy to lose track of his voice - it really didn't hold our interest.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It may have, but we couldn't get past the first hour. We gave up and went on to another book.


    Any additional comments?

    We listen while driving, and this just didn't hold our interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Massie Milwaukee, WI 06-03-12
    Jan Massie Milwaukee, WI 06-03-12 Member Since 2014

    Spiderlady

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome, didn't want it to end"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Worst Hard Time to be better than the print version?

    not applicable


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Worst Hard Time?

    How we as humans destroy the eco system out of greed, and what a devastating consequence it has on us.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    How they lived in this dust bowl?


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was angered by our stupidity of nature and relieved how we did eventually learn from this mistake.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't want this book to end, it was well done and very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Westminister, CA, United States 05-10-12
    Donna Westminister, CA, United States 05-10-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    119
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must read history of America"

    I really enjoyed this book. It taught me a lot of history about my country during those years. Growing up you are told about this period of time in history but the schools never go into the hardships and headaches that people had to suffer. It’s heartbreaking to think about what the folks had to endure. Kids should have to read this book as part of their history studies. I can’t see the younger generation even being able to make it in today’s world if something like that was to come about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 04-10-12
    Laura 04-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "When is the next Egan release???"
    What made the experience of listening to The Worst Hard Time the most enjoyable?

    I have read this book, gifted this book, bought the audiobook and still listen to it time and again. The best research of the Dust Bowl years that I've ever read, including personal histories of survivors of the Dust Bowl (my grandparents). As always, Timothy Egan is both a great researcher and storyteller.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Worst Hard Time?

    I think I can taste dirt when he describes the cars dying from the black blizzard. I will dream of static lightening on the fences and tumbleweeds.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer United States 01-19-12
    Kindle Customer United States 01-19-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    42
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't get through it."

    This audiobook is slow and I couldn't get into it. Never finished it. I tried to, but I just couldn't do it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Millie Helotes, TX, United States 12-20-11
    Millie Helotes, TX, United States 12-20-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but too long!"

    I enjoyed the first half of this book. The second half got repetitive, especially the part when the narrator reads entries from a journal. Every day the same thing, dust storms, dead crops, hopelessness, and despair. A couple of entries would have been ok to make a point, however, too many entries with the same descriptions were definitely unnecessary. By this time, I was hoping the book would end but it still dragged on. Sometimes authors get so involved with their subject, they don't know when to stop and bring things to a close. Sadly, for this book, less would have been better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Buzzards Bay, MA, United States 12-09-11
    Barbara Buzzards Bay, MA, United States 12-09-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    138
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story, Great Reader!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Worst Hard Time to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I have read and listened to this book. This a powerful account of the effect Nature can have on people. This was a period in history that few ecologists talk about. But, it did occur, little precipitation and unusually high temperatures. It had little to do with pollution and a lot to do with the way Nature works. It is a book that should be mandatory in school reading lists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Fe, NM, United States 11-02-11
    Jean Santa Fe, NM, United States 11-02-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "American History made alive!"

    This story of the great dust bowl years and the devastation to the land and people's lives is an important part of American history. It is beautifully detailed and brought to life in a remarkable way that makes a gripping tale. It should also be seen as a cautionary note for our times as we lay waste to parts of the earth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty Scottsdale, AZ, United States 10-25-11
    Betty Scottsdale, AZ, United States 10-25-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Feel the grit of the "Dust Bowl!""

    This was a great listen! Very well narrated. The history and statistics of this region of the US were personalized by following the stories of various families or individuals throughout this era. I could feel the hunger pangs and the grit of the dust storms while I was listening to this compelling tale. When these folks thought it couldn't get any worse, it did, time after time. So interesting to hear why these folks stayed and how they coped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell 08-18-11
    Russell 08-18-11

    Like mysteries, not much in to SciFi, hate vampire books. Like most all years of history.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    176
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    "Those were hard times...."

    I approached this book with some previous knowledge of the Dust Bowl. My mother and many of my relatives grew up in the middle of the dust bowl. I was familiar with some of the families mentioned in the book. I think it is excellent and teaches us a part of history that many have forgotton and many more never learned. Very good look at how hard things really were in the '30s.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 91-100 of 117 results PREVIOUS19101112NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.