This visceral account of how America’s great, grassy plains turned to dust, and how the ferocious plains winds stirred up an endless series of “black blizzards” that were like a biblical plague: “Dust clouds boiled up, ten thousand feet or more in the sky, and rolled like moving mountains” in what became known as the Dust Bowl. The people who settled the plains, hardy Americans and immigrants desperate for a piece of land to call their own and lured by the lies of promoters who said the ground was arable, survived despite the hardship and suffering: Hazel Lucas, for instance, dared to give birth in the midst of the blight only to see her baby die of “dust pneumonia” when her lungs clogged with the airborne dirt. With characters who seem to have sprung from a novel by Sinclair Lewis or Steinbeck, this account will long remain in readers’ minds.
If you were born in the Texas or Oklahoma Panhandles or know people who were, you need to read this book to understand what real strength and courage is about.
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