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Om forfatteren

Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, a New York Times columnist, a winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in nonfiction, and the author of seven books, including Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, The Worst Hard Time, which won a National Book Award, and the national vis mere bestseller The Big Burn. vis mindre

Omfatter også følgende navne: Timothy Egan, Egan Tomothy

Værker af Timothy Egan

Lasso the Wind: Away to the New West (1998) 222 eksemplarer
The Winemaker's Daughter (2004) 81 eksemplarer
Portrait of Seattle (1989) 5 eksemplarer

Associated Works

Young Men and Fire (1992) — Forord, nogle udgaver1,182 eksemplarer
Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation (2017) — Bidragyder — 164 eksemplarer

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Seattle, Washington, USA
The New York Times
Carol Mann



This is basically the story of D.C. Stephenson, a white man who was instrumental in the rise and the fall of the Ku Klux Klan. I wasn't as pulled into this story as others by this author perhaps because the main character is so very unlikeable. Stephenson was a charismatic liar who was born into poverty but who learned to portray himself as educated, cultured and patriotic.

After a simering feud with the head of the national KKK, Stephenson found himself in Indiana where he built a strong organization of ordinary white people telling them of the dangers of racial differences, Catholics, Jews, and immigration. Stephenson managed to live in a huge mansion, hold big parties, and claim many major politicans as friends.

He was also extremely violent with women. Madge Oberholtzer was a young woman who feel into his circle. Claiming that he loved her, he had her abducted, and took her to Chicago where he raped, beat her, and bit her all over her body. She was so injured, that she took poison in an attempt at suicide She was delivered back to her home where she died. Stephenson was then charged with murder and against all odds, was convicted and spent most of the rest of his life in prison.

The story is one that I was not familiar with and there are aspects of Stephenson's narrative that sound too much like is heard in the news today.
… (mere)
maryreinert | 10 andre anmeldelser | Nov 25, 2023 |
If you find the Dust Bowl fascinating, Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time delves deeply into the time period using the area of “No Man’s Land” (where the Oklahoma panhandle, the Texas panhandle, Colorado, and Nebraska come together) as the center of the story. Very well-researched and full of a lot of personal stories, Egan holds nothing back as he explores the history and the people involved — be prepared for a lot of sadness. I was hoping for a bit more governmental work and outcomes, but overall still an interesting historical read.… (mere)
Hccpsk | 190 andre anmeldelser | Oct 9, 2023 |
The author used interviews he did in 2002-2003, and phone conversations with ones who lived through and remember it, newspaper articles, other books written on the Dust Bowl, census records, and court records, and I would say the author's own liberty of feelings were added into the story for it to read more as a story rather than just a dry, historical account.

The Dust Bowl 1932-1939 (a.k.a the Dirty Thirties) After kicking the Commanches off the land and killing off millions and millions of buffalo, nesters and suitcase farmers were invited to homestead what is now considered No Man's Land. They plowed up the land and ripped up the grass without a thought to what it might do to the natural order of nature.

Thirty million people fled the area during the Dust Bowl years, that's 10,000 people a month who abandoned their homesteads. Most headed to California for work but were uninvited and called, the then derrogatory term, "Okies". Before 1925, twenty million acres of prairie land had already been plowed to farm, but between 1925 and 1930, with the Homestead Act, within 5 years another 5.2 million acres fell under the plow, and where suitcase farmers came and plowed the fields and left, only thistles took over.

September 14, 1930 began the first of hundreds and hundreds of dust storms over the next several years. These storms could reach up to 10,000 feet high with winds up to 60 mph of black wall filled with sand and carried static electricity that would light up barbed-wire fencing and any other metal around, enough electricity to short out a car. More than 80 to 100 million acres was stripped of topsoil through the years of the Dust Bowl....one of the largest environmental disasters in American History.

In 1934, one dust storm carried over all the way to New York and for 5 hours dumped dirt all over, so much they stopped commerce. It even moved out to sea covering ships over 200 miles offshore.

Black Sunday, the worst of all the storms, fell on April 14, 1935, when 300,000 tons of soil went airborne. People were fighting for their lives. The Red Cross opened up 6 hospitals across the plains to deal with coughing pneumonia, due to lungs filling up with sand. They had to begin wearing goggles, and putting vaseline in their noses before even going outside. Windows and every crack in their homes had to be covered with wet sheets, towels, blankets to try and keep the dust out, but it was impossible. Daily, the women cleaned out layers of dust gathered in their homes, sometimes so much their were ripples of sand on the floor.

The people could usually tell which state the dust storm would come from by the color of the storm. Black dust came from Kansas, red from eastern Oklahoma, and yellow-orange from Texas. One time they counted 49 dusters in 3 months time.

In 1936, the government took over with the biggest soil conservation project called "Operation Dust Bowl". The plan was to slow the drifts by contour plowing and planting with Africa grass instead of a crop. But the people weren't very cooperative with their pieces of land. So the government provided seeds and fuel to run tractors only if they agreed to this new farming restoration project. Dunes as high as 50 feet and a mile wide blown in from neighboring counties had to be leveled before plowed and planted.

Buffalo grass and blue grama was a native grass perfect for the high plains condition. They were short grasses that could hold water a foot below the surface even during the hottest, driest summer droughts. This grass nuoirished ground critters, such as grouse, prairie chickens, cranes, jackrabbits, and snakes by providing water when they ate it. But, with no grasses to feed off of, jackrabbits became a nuisance to farmers and their struggling crops. Towns began a jackrabbit festival run and would surround them within a one mile radious. Up to six thousand jackrabbits would be killed in just one these events.

The high plains never fully recovered but was healed in places. Some of the land is still drifting and sterile but in the heart of the Dust Bowl now lie three successful national grassland parks, the largest, Commanche National Grassland, at 600,000 acres, in Baca County, Colorado.

The design and success of the three grassland national parks is due to Hugh Bennett. He died at the age of 79 in 1960 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was hired by President Roosevelt and should be honored for his efforts.

Roosevelt's idea of planting 220 million tree conservation project did not work out. Most of the trees are dead and gone. When the rains returned, farmers began replacing the trees once again with crops of wheat when wheat prices shot up again during WWII. Men seem to never learn, and repeat the same mistakes, especially when money is involved.

Dalhart is at the crossroads of three highways. At the entrance to town is an empty horse saddle dedicated to the XIT cowboys who experienced the glory days of the grasslands and buffalo. There's also the XIT Museum in Dalhart. They also hold a festival every year celebrating the old XIT ranch and the ghosts of cowboys before farmers came to the land and destroyed it.

List of a few towns to maybe check out one day that were at the heart of the dust bowl considered part of No Man's Land: Dalhart, Follett and Amarillo, Texas; Inavale, Nebraska; Baca County, Colorado; Guymon and Boise City, Oklahoma; Rolla, Kismet and Dodge City, Kansas. Evidently you can still see tell-tale signs of those dust bowl days...fence posts and a few housetops poking up from sand bogs in certain cities. [Research to find which cities.]

The book is well indexed and if you know your ancestor was from the area and lived through the dust bowl, you may find their name and a bit of story on them inside this book.
… (mere)
MissysBookshelf | 190 andre anmeldelser | Aug 27, 2023 |



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