The Worst Hard Time

 

Worst

by Timothy Egan

I had heard stories and seen film clips of this devastating period when parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico were turned into a dust bowl where no vegetation grew and all the topsoil was carried awaY by the wind. But I had no idea of the impact it had on people’s lives, on the nation and on the whole environment.

Dust storm in 1930s

Dust storm in 1930s

I read for the first time about “dust  pneumonia” killing toddlers and older people alike as the dust filtered deep into their lungs, destroying cells. Since the dust particles had a high silica content, it tore at the air sacs, eventually having the same effect that coal dust has on a miner.

Car buried in dust in Oklahoma

Car buried in dust in Oklahoma

Perhaps the most famous photo of dust bowl misery

Perhaps the most famous photo of dust bowl misery

The author makes history come alive by peopling the book with many rich and colorful characters. This book is truly readable history and I can’t recommend it enough!

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