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
"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)
We should use the plight of the High Plains as a reminder, and guide to preserve our natural resources. We should never take anything for granted!
Mainline, mass media, intestine story worth listening to. Not challenging and just the right length. I didn't like the narrator much
I really wanted to enjoy this book. It's about a period in history I'm eager to learn more about, and I was excited to hear the anecdotes and personal stories of real people. Unfortunately, the storytelling was like a broken loop--there were so many times I thought, surely I've accidentally backtracked twenty minutes and I'm listening to the same part again. I'll warn you that the narration starts to grate on you after a short while, too.
The book is about the dust bowl, what caused it, and the people who lived through it. It is amazing what these people had to endure and humbling to see the power of nature in disarray. Definitely a great listen.
I learned a lot but it was broken up and there was a lot of overlap between stories/towns. Read it for book club. Glad I listened I am not sure I would have persevered otherwise.
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