Charlaralotte's Reviews > The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
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Feb 16, 08

bookshelves: read-in-2007
Recommended to Charlaralotte by: My father
Recommended for: anyone
Read in March, 2007

I never knew anything about the Dustbowl, except for the WPA photographs & John Steinbeck. This is an exceptionally well-written historical account of the events leading up to the environmental disaster that resulted from "Manifest Destiny." Fascinating descriptions of what life was like during the many years of dust storms. Astute dissection of the political forces at work, Roosevelt's grappling with the problem, and the ultimate outcome.

I remember driving around the West and coming across so many signs identifying the land as "Protected Grassland." Never understood until this book how import a step it was for our government to realize they'd enticed farmers to farm millions of acres of land that should never have been farmed. Once the topsoil was destroyed, the dust just started blowing, howling, covering everyone & everything for years.

The decision to let the land return to its former state was a huge one for our "free enterprise" capitalist government. Politicians had to realize that for the good of the country and the good of the people. we had to stop trying to tame the untameable. Next time I drive out West, I will give thanks for that protected grassland. We may not have signed the Kyoto Protocol yet, but in the past we have realized some of our environmental mistakes and worked very hard to correct them.
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