John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath described the settlers of the "dust bowl" who left. This is the heroic story of those who remained. A beautifully written and intensely researched book about the settlement and disaster of America's high plains. — Louise Jones
In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award–winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows.
The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Timothy Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, he does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, “the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect” (New York Times). In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” (Austin Statesman Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful reminder about the dangers of trifling with nature.
About the Author
TIMOTHY EGAN is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, a New York Times columnist, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in nonfiction. His previous books include The Worst Hard Time, which won a National Book Award, and the national bestseller The Big Burn. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
[A] fierce, humane account of the dreams and extremes that crashed head on during the nearly decade-long calamity of the Dust Bowl. The New York Times
[A] vivid and gritty piece of forgotten history. USA Today
"The Worst Hard Time" provides a sobering, gripping account of a disaster whose wounds are still not fully healed today. Boston Globe
The Worst Hard Time is a haunting work of narrative nonfiction. The Baltimore Sun
Egan has admirably captured a part of our American experience that should not be forgotten. The San Francisco Chronicle
Egan is a passionate and accomplished writer...Read this for history, not inspiration or entertainment. The Denver Post
Egan's account of the Dust Bowl era is a final, terrible rebuke to the policies of America's dying days of frontier expansion. The Seattle Times
THE WORST HARD TIME is a flat-out masterpiece of historical reportage. Seattle Post-Intelligencer