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

Extended Audio Sample The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (14,892 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Timothy Egan Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN: 9781400172207
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A vivid and gritty piece of forgotten history. USA Today

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tena | 2/8/2014

    " I liked this book. Well written and full of interesting facts I didn't know about our history. My mom was born in the panhandle and I'd heard about the dust storms and that made it more personal for me. It's just hard to believe we created the mess in the first place due man's greedy nature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chancy | 2/2/2014

    " This book starts off slow but picks up pace as it goes along. It's a haunting reminder of the fact that we can't be certain what effect our actions today will have on the future, so it would do us good to take the hubris down a notch or two. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betty | 1/30/2014

    " The book mirrors Burn's Dust Bowl which features the author and follows several families who experienced living through this time in history when the last homesteaders tried to farm this area in the panhandle of OK, southern CO, and parts of TX and KS. I admit while I had known about the Dust Bowl, I had not realized the extent of the black storms caused by the cultivation of the land and supported by our government. My book club also read Grapes of Wrath as a companion book. Both are well worth the time and effort. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 1/27/2014

    " This book about the Dust Bowl in the 1930's was both amazing and horrific. It was so intriguing to learn more about this land and this time and it was so sad that much of the devastation was caused by man. A must read for anyone interested in American history! btw - I listened to this and really enjoyed the narrator. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jodi | 1/24/2014

    " This book was very interesting, and it was about a part of our country's history that I really was unfamiliar with. The lesson to be learned from this book is what a huge impact humans can have on the Earth, and do you think we have fully learned that lesson yet? This story is a testament to hardworking and determined Americans, however unaware they can be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 1/22/2014

    " The Worst Hard Time is about the Dust Bowl during the 1930's. The author told the story through different people's experiences. It was absolutely amazing that anyone stayed in the dust bowl area and survived. This is an example of a terrible man-made disaster. Hopefully we have learned from this and have improved land management practices. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 1/22/2014

    " Very interesting. I really had very little prior knowledge of what that period was like and the book does a great job of following a number of different families and sharing their stories. The book does lose a little steam towards the end, but overall, a really worthwhile read. Lots of parallels to be made to today and gives you a lot to be thankful for. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sgrefe | 1/20/2014

    " Very well written. Eerie similarities to current events. Interesting to see the basis of many of the programs congress is currently debating. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Bad banking, political and environmental decisions "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 1/12/2014

    " A fascinating read about a time and events in America that I knew little about. I had no idea that the dust bowl was so very difficult and certainly did not know the back story about the rape of the land. This is a little gem. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara O'connor | 12/4/2013

    " A must read book if you would like to learn about the Dust Bowl. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 12/2/2013

    " National Book Award winner sucking me in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Chiang | 11/22/2013

    " Great writing! This was a very difficult time in our country and the author has taken the stories of many different people to illustrate what it was like. Informative and engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/28/2013

    " Well-researched and well-written. The author was able to interview some people who survived the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression and their stories of courage and determination are impressive. I doubt that many people today could survive what happened in the 1920s-30s midwest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cherise | 6/8/2013

    " I feel like it could have ended a lot quicker if the author didn't seem to repeat facts we already knew over and over again. Dry at times, but informative. Though, I truly almost gave up on it and often held off reading due to lack of enjoyment of it, which is unlike me for any book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gale | 2/20/2013

    " Learn from the past: in light of current climate issues, read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gilesgirl | 11/11/2012

    " One of my favorite books... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evelyn | 11/5/2012

    " This book was very sad from beginning to end. It was difficult for me to read a book with so much suffering and despair. I am just glad that the story is over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 8/18/2012

    " I've lived in Okalahoma for around 17 years and I had no idea how awful this experience was for the peiople who lived through the dust bowl. I have a new vision when I travels through north west Oklahoma and New Mexico. A new repect. I enjoyed this reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard Tolleson | 8/16/2012

    " If you think you know about the Dust Bowl, get ready to be shocked. The depth of the Dust Bowl is described in such detail that it makes you feel as if you're there. I'm glad it was raining regularly while I was reading this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gina DeJong | 6/4/2012

    " this was just not my kind of book, it read like a textbook - I wish there was more of a plot because it really was such an interesting point in history - it just was told in a very boring fashion! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lora | 4/21/2012

    " I am stunned by what these people went through. I continue to be amazed at the power of mother nature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tuesday Teaberry | 8/1/2011

    " A well done history, but suffers from its somewhat silly poetic rendering. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexis | 5/14/2011

    " An amazing retelling of a bleak era in American history. The Dust Bowl could easily be eclipsed by the arguably "sexier" Great Depression, but Egan brings raw emotion and intense human experience that work together to elevate the subject. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonny | 5/13/2011

    " I didn't finish the book and probably won't try to pick it up again, but what I read was very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 5/12/2011

    " Great read, very informational as well as captivating. Loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheila | 5/5/2011

    " I loved this book! It was so interesting to read. The author did a great job gathering information about the history of the area where we live (SouthWest Kansas). I couldn't put it down! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allen | 5/2/2011

    " What happens when Government gives something free or cheap away...it screws up the environment. Homestead Act got the dust storms going. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wil | 4/27/2011

    " One of the grizliest eras in our history, but told with verve and care. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gayle | 4/26/2011

    " Superb book about several families in the Dust Bowl and their stuggle to survive as well as incredible pictures that made me wonder how anyone survived to period of our history in the impacted area of the US. Some of the towns are still there and life still isn't easy for the inhabitants. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J.M. | 4/22/2011

    " One of the best books I've ever read, fiction or non. A fiction writer couldn't come up with a more insane chain of events, all of which led to a reality that was horrifically brutal and cruel. Every U.S. citizen needs to know this story. Well done, Mr. Egan! "

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