Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s

Paperback | September 29, 2004

byDonald Worster

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In the mid 1930s, North America's Great Plains faced one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in world history. Donald Worster's classic chronicle of the devastating years between 1929 and 1939 tells the story of the Dust Bowl in ecological as well as human terms. Now, twenty-five years after his book helped to define the new field of environmental history, Worster shares his more recent thoughts on the subject of the land and how humans interact with it. In a new afterword, he links the Dust Bowl to current political, economic and ecologicalissues--including the American livestock industry's exploitation of the Great Plains, and the on-going problem of desertification, which has now become a global phenomenon. He reflects on the state of the plains today and the threat of a new dustbowl. He outlines some solutions that have beenproposed, such as "the Buffalo Commons," where deer, antelope, bison and elk would once more roam freely, and suggests that we may yet witness a Great Plains where native flora and fauna flourish while applied ecologists show farmers how to raise food on land modeled after the natural prairies thatonce existed.

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In the mid 1930s, North America's Great Plains faced one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in world history. Donald Worster's classic chronicle of the devastating years between 1929 and 1939 tells the story of the Dust Bowl in ecological as well as human terms. Now, twenty-five years after his book helped to define the new ...

Donald Worster is Hall Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of Kansas and the author of A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6.42 × 9.09 × 0.71 inPublished:September 29, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195174887

ISBN - 13:9780195174885

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart One A Darkling Plain1. The Black Blizzards Roll In2. If It Rains3. Okies and ExodustersPart Two Prelude to Dust4. What Holds the Earth Together5. SodbustingPart Three Cimarron County, Oklahoma6. Frontier in Ruins7. When the Cattle Ate Tumbleweeds8. Hard Times in the PanhandlePart Four Haskell County, Kansas9. Unsettled Ground10. The Wheat Farmer and the Welfare State11. A Sense of PlacePart Five A New Deal for the Land12. Facing up to Limits13. Learning from Nature14. Make Two Blades of Grass GrowEpilogue: On a Thin EdgeAfterword

Editorial Reviews

"Worster's book is the first to pinpoint the results of the mechanization and defiance of nature, and the sources of such practices. Definitely the best introduction to understanding the cultural sources of modern environmental crises."--A.R. Vasavi, Tufts University