Popular Dust Bowl Books
The Forgotten Dust Bowl Novel That Rivaled “The Grapes of Wrath”
Teaching about the Dust Bowl certainly doesn't have the same high-spirited allure as teaching about the Oregon Trail or the Gold Rush, but it is an important period in American history for children to learn about nonetheless. Over the last several decades, scientists have gained a better understanding about the dust bowl and what caused it. In short, over-grazing, over-farming, and general over-use of the land greatly exacerbated a climatological drought cycle in the s, making living and growing conditions virtually impossible. As our society becomes more aware of our ecological impacts on the earth, learning about the dust bowl and the great devastation and dislocation it caused becomes more important than ever. The books below help teach this tragic but important part of American history. And, if we've overlooked your favorite kids book on this era the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl , please let us know so we can make this list even better. The Journal of C.
James N. Gregory has published two books and several articles four on-line below about the Dust Bowl Migration and other American migrations. Joe W. Trotter Jr. Kusmer Chicago: University of Chicago Press, For almost seventy years the story of white families from Oklahoma and neighboring states making their way to California in the midst of the Great Depression has been kept alive by journalists and filmmakers, college teachers and museum curators, songwriters and novelists, and of course historians. Although it was but one episode out of many struggles with poverty during the s, the Dust Bowl migration became something of synecdoche, the single most common image that later generations would use to memorialize the hardships of that decade.
You are here
Fifty years ago, John Steinbeck's now classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath , captured the epic story of an Oklahoma farm family driven west to California by dust storms, drought, and economic hardship. - When The Grapes of Wrath came out 77 years ago, it was an instant hit. The story of a destitute family fleeing the Dust Bowl sold , copies in a year and catapulted John Steinbeck to literary greatness.
Originally published in , this pioneering work of history tells the story of Dust Bowl refugees—more than a million people from the Oklahoma region whose cultural and social existence was upended and relocated to California during the Great Depression. Based on in-depth research, census data, and oral histories some of which were conducted over the phone this book masterfully chronicles the experiences of people from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri who moved to California in the s and s. While philanthropic agencies like the Red Cross existed in the United States before , Gregory argues that they were not enough to mitigate the suffering of those enduring the worst of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. Despite the lift brought about by the New Deal, times were so bad that many were compelled to pack up and leave for California. A story well documented in notable works of literature including The Grapes of Wrath, and chronicled by photographers like Dorothea Lange, this richly researched book deepens our understanding of the characters in this saga by illuminating the complex social history of the migrants. This book features fine reproductions of rarely seen archival photographs by those witness to this American exodus—photographers like Lange who left their own indelible mark on this story while working for the Farm Security Administration FSA. Your email address will not be published.