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THE DUST BOWL by Tricia Andryszewski

THE DUST BOWL

Disaster on the Plains

By Tricia Andryszewski

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-56294-272-7
Publisher: Millbrook

 In a model of concise and effective writing, the social, economic, and ecological history of the great agricultural tragedy of the 30's. Andryszewski outlines the natural state of the treeless prairies (including preexisting dust storms) and how the new settlers' farming practices set them up for failure, contrasting them with the Native American cultures that had flourished there. Vivid quotes from people who lived through the period, along with numerous photos, convey the suffering both of those who fled and those who stayed behind. The author describes Roosevelt's Agriculture Department's soil conservation programs, which saved the situation and reversed a recurrence in the 50's. Can it happen again? Andryszewski mentions current problems (water shortages; chemical contamination) and controversies over how to manage them (e.g., give much of the range back to the bison). Though most quotes aren't attributed, the general source notes should satisfy casual researchers. A fine resource. Brief bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 9-12)