The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

The Worst Hard Time

The Worst Hard Time is an American history book written by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Timothy Egan. The book tells the story of the Dust Bowl, the nation’s worst environmental disaster, through the memories and family histories of some of its surviving witnesses.

The book 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. The book describes the desperate attempts of these people to carry on through blinding black blizzards, crop failure, and the deaths of loved ones.

Useful takeaways from the book:

  • The importance of resilience and perseverance in times of crisis
  • The devastating impact of environmental disasters on communities and individuals
  • The need for responsible land use and conservation efforts to prevent future environmental disasters.

What I Liked

Everything – this book is so engaging, so detailed, and so well-written. It gave me a deep appreciation for the resilience of Americans in the not-too-distant-past. And about how humans can truly affect their environment in positive and negative ways. Must read.

What I Did Not Like

Nothing – solid book all-around.

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