Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


This classic of environmental history literally changed my life, as I packed up my bags (and my books) and moved to Kansas to study with Donald Worster. He places responsibility for the Dust Bowl where it properly belongs: on the farmers, whose short-sighted, money-driven plowing left the Great Plains vulnerable to drought and wind. It's a lesson to all of humanity, wherever they happen to live. —Mark

— From Mark's Picks

Description


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 ecological issues--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 been proposed, 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 that once existed.

About the Author


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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780195174885
ISBN-10: 0195174887
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: September 30th, 2004
Pages: 290
Language: English