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Narrator Rating (1)

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

Unabridged Audio Book

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Patrick Lawlor

12 Hours 0 Minutes

Tantor Media

February 2006


Audio Book Summary

The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod huts 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 death of loved ones. Drawing on the voices of those who stayed and survived-those who, now in their eighties and nineties, will soon carry their memories to the grave-Egan tells a story of endurance and heroism against the backdrop of the Great Depression.

Egan captures the very voice of the time-its grit, pathos, and abiding heroism-as only great history can. Combining the human drama of Isaac's Storm with the sweep of The American People in the Great Depression, The Worst Hard Time is a lasting and important work of American history.

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  • Jason Comely

    Despite its title, "The Worst Hard Time" is a great book full of interesting stories and facts. This will be a sleeper hit. Highly recommended.

    Book Rating

  • Anonymous

    A well written historical account of the Dustbowl that I would highly recommend. Many people have been through many difficult things in this country and this was one of the most difficult. At times it must have appeared to those who went through the worst of it as a living hell.

    Book Rating

  • Anonymous

    Thinking about the people who lived through this made me appreciate how fortunate I really am. A gripping, heart-breaking story for me to hear. I loved this book.

    Book Rating

  • Peggy Stortz

    I was very excited about this book before I got it, but then I was disappointed. It was disjointed, hours of facts, difficult to care as we weren't given the chance to get well acquainted with any of the characters. Forget it.

    Book Rating

  • rv9av8tr

    An amazing look at life in the high plains in the 20's-30's. I found the story riveting. It was a life I think so few of us understand, that this book does a great job in bringing to life.

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  • wlh2040

    Wow...If you have any interest in the history of the Plains, settlement, government policy or human suffering, this is so very well written you will not lose interest. This is sadly an era in our country's history that is as distant to the college students of today as King George. The memory of this event and those who suffered should be kept alive.

    Book Rating

  • Tonytoga

    A 5-star rating is hard to come by in my opinin but this book earns it. In telling the story of the 'Dust Bowl' years as seen through the eyes of about a dozen families who lived through this gruesome period in our history, Tim Egan paints a personal and very touching portrait of the grit, determination and dispair of the poor souls who live through this 'worst hard time.' You learn why it happened, watch as the dusters as they were called, rolled over the high plains and feel the pain of those who did their best just to get by. This is an outstanding work of history. And, the narration by Patrick Lawlor is first rate. It is unabridged.

    Book Rating