“Dust Bowl” book is group selection

“The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl” by Timothy Egan is the reading pick for the Open Books, Open Minds Hometown Book Club.

The club invites interested readers to join them at 7 p.m. March 23 at the Enumclaw Public Library for conversation about the book.

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Timothy Egan captures the untold story of the Dust Bowl, the decade of dust storms that ravaged the American High Plains during the Depression through the eyes of those who survived it.

Once one of the greatest grasslands in the world, the High Plains went through a bonanza of overfarming in the 1920s. When the rains stopped and the wind picked up in the early 1930s, the stripped earth began to stir and blow, sending millions of tons of dust across much of the nation. At its peak, the Dust Bowl covered close to one hundred million acres, and more than a quarter of a million Americans were forced to flee their ruined homes. “In The Worst Hard Time,” Egan follows a diverse cast of individuals and families in communities, weaving together the eyewitness accounts of survivors now in their 80s and 90s.

As a reporter for the New York Times in 2001, Egan was part of a team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for a series exploring racial experiences and attitudes across contemporary America. He is also the author of other books, including “The Good Rain,” a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Book Award winner and regional bestseller for more than a decade.

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