The Worst Hard Time


-The New York Times


The National Book Award winning account of the Dust Bowl, the nation’s worst environmental disaster – a story of endurance and heroism, and a powerful cautionary tale about the dangers of trifling with nature. 

The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Timothy Egan’s critically acclaimed account rescues this iconic chapter of American history from the shadows in a tour de force of historical reportage. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, 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, Egan 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).

What People are Saying


“This is can’t-put-it-down history.” 

-Walter Cronkite


“A flat-out masterpiece of historical reportage.” 

-The Seattle Post-Intelligencer


“Searing history…Egan offers dramtic descriptionsof the storms that vividly recreate their apocalyptic fury. He really excels, however, in capturing the humansuffering they inflicted…a sobering, heart-wrenching book.” 

-Washington Post Book World.


“A vivid and gritty piece of forgotten history from the darkest days of the Depression. It’s a great read about a horrible time, filled with lessons still worth learning.” 

-USA Today


“Masterfully captures the story of our nation’s greatest environmental disaster.” 

-Chicago Tribune


“This story is a classic tragedy, with all the elements of ambition, pride and retribution.” 

-San Francisco Chronicle


“Haunts a reader from the first pages.” 

-The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH)

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