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

Author: 
Timothy Egan

The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Great Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. The Worst Hard Time tells the epic story of this environmental disaster and its impact on the communities stricken with fear and choked by dust in the “dirty thirties”. The author follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod homes 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 deaths of loved ones. It is the story of those who stayed and survived. Currently, when large areas of the United States are suffering severe drought conditions and the prospect is for more of the same, this book seems particularly relevant.