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YEARS OF DUST by Albert Marrin Kirkus Star

YEARS OF DUST

The Story of The Dust Bowl

By Albert Marrin

Age Range: 10 - 16

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-525-42077-4
Publisher: Dutton

Marrin’s approach to the story of the Dust Bowl is unique in its focus on ecology, arguing that the ignorant and exploitive practices of farmers, hunters and ranchers made the catastrophe worse than it needed to be. Hunting indigenous species such as the buffalo and prairie dog to near extinction, killing off predators of smaller animals, introducing cattle grazing and destroying the natural landscape for farms and settlements all set the stage for the disaster to come. The author does not neglect the miseries suffered by families living in the afflicted areas, however, placing the story in the context of the Great Depression and explaining how what was happening in the Great Plains was yet another sign to Americans of the country’s downward spiral. The author concludes with a discussion of modern ecological disasters in the making. The engaging narrative includes quotes from a variety of primary sources, and it is abundantly illustrated throughout with photographs and other archival material, making this a reader-friendly, insightful work of history. (glossary, notes, further resources, bibliography, index, timeline) (Nonfiction. 10-16)