Worst Hard Time, The

Egan, Timothy

  12 Reviews

The dust storms that terrorised the American High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blindingly black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. The Worst Hard Time is an epic story of blind hope and endurance almost beyond belief.

Comments from Groups

Everybody really enjoyed this book, one of the best books we've ever had; the notes were very good also. This book created a lot of discussion, in particular from a historical perspective. Christchurch 050

A very interesting read-with plenty to discuss about man's greediness and inability to learn from past mistakes. it was particularly pertinent to read this when NZ is wrestling with possible future inappropriate land use for dairying. Christchurch 071

We had a good discussion. By the end of the book we all felt as if we were covered in dust and gritty between our teeth!! Rai Valley 001

Interesting book on a topic that few of the group knew about. We felt the book repeated itself describing the dustiness. It would have been nice to have more detail with the personal stories-more biographical. The lessons learnt as a result of the farming practices and destruction of the eco-system are as relevant today in many countries worldwide, including here in NZ. Renwick 001

Fantastic book-a monument to stupidity-but we will do it all over again and again. Auckland 158



Not many of our Group managed to read this book, but it is a great piece of recorded history very relevant to climate change today.
NELS 062
Only two members of our group of ten read the whole book. Most found the hopelessness was depressing. However everyone felt the book was important as social history, and certainly helped us understand U.S. history - with relevance today.
TAUR 062
Some people really loved this book and others really did not. Most of us didn't know anything about this subject so we enjoyed learning about it. We found a lot of similarities to what is happening now in N.Z. with the pine trees being planted on farm land. A very dry book and 'the worst hard time' for some. Interesting and informative.
Wasn't our favourite book - a lot didn't finish it. An interesting part of history though and good to learn about it.
WELL 046
This book was much liked, despite the difficult times described. We liked the writing style and the use of real stories to tell a strong history.
Although only 2 out of 10 actually read the book, we had a very deep and meaningful discussion, and the questions encouraged the discussion.
OXF 001
Although not everybody read all of this book, it provoked plenty of discussion. Being a group of rural women we all had plenty to discuss, and were especially impressed with the families and their difficulties with the weather!!
An amazing eye opener. Everyone learned a lot from it and it led to much discussion on global warming and land management practices.
Less than half our group read the whole book, but those that did said it was interesting to read about an event and time they knew little or nothing about. Created discussion around use of land in NZ.
Words used to describe this book were overwhelming, tragic, depressing, informative, appalling and powerful. We all found the book very sad on many levels but a 'must read'. It is relevant today as a stark reminder of what mother nature will do if we don't look after our natural resources. A recommended read but beware of the tragedies it contains.
All thought that this was a very well researched and gripping history.
Members that finished the book found it very interesting, and it provoked discussion about it happening in our country.