Sasha'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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's review
Mar 09, 09

bookshelves: non-fiction

Once upon a time there was a country where speculation ran rampant, environmental disaster loomed, and foreclosures and job loss dominated the economy. It was the Great Depression, v1.0.

Timothy Egan's book has an unusual perspective. It is about those who *stayed* in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle during the dust bowl. It is the story of government supported land speculation gone horribly wrong. The farmers uprooted a fragile grass ecology and destroyed 1000s of years of topsoil. Raging dust storms left people dying of "dust pneumonia" and cattle with stomachs so choked with dirt that they died of starvation. It is also the story of an attempt to deal with an economic disaster that was unprecedented in scale and completely unexpected.

It is a compellingly told story and, unfortunately, disturbingly familiar.
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