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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

This is the story of the people who stayed behind during the Dust Bowl. Much has been written about those who migrated to get away from the misery, but we know little about the majority of the residents who stayed in place and rode it out.

The government encouraged farmers to plow up the natural buffalo grass, that anchored the soil of the Great Plains, and plant wheat. During World War I, they supplied Europe and America with millions of tons of grain, and became prosperous. However, in the process they destroyed the land, and when drought came in the 1930's, the winds blew away what was left. Residents lost everything they owned, including the land, and many died from malnutrition and 'black pneumonia'. The drought went on for eight years.

Having grown up with parents who lived through the 'Great Depression', I thought I knew a lot about it, but I learned that I didn't know it all! This book is a cautionary tale about our stewardship over the earth. If we destroy it, it may destroy us.

353 pages

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