Nov./Dec. 2017 - The Worst Hard Time

11/08/17 #AgBookClub Recap

Miss the last #AgBookClub chat? No worries, we’ve compiled a summary of the chat to prepare you for next week!

This week, we started our November/December selection, The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan. The assigned pages, 1 – 51, introduced us to several non-fiction characters and how they came to live on the Great Plains. Times just before the Great Depression and Dust Bowl were actually pretty good for farming, drawing lots of entrepreneurs to the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandle to stake their claim on some of the only land left for grabs following the Homestead Act of 1862. WWI supported great crop prices leading up to the 1920s, land was free for the taking, and few saw any warnings of hard times coming.

Below are several responses that we thought summed up the Week 1 chat well, covered themes, or contained thought-provoking questions or comments. This week was our first chat with 280 characters available universally on Twitter, which allowed for some more complete thoughts (but the jury is still out as to whether we like 140 or 280 characters better).

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comments section of this post or on Twitter (clicking the date at the bottom of each tweet will take you directly to that tweet on Twitter’s website). You can see the full conversation by searching “#AgBookClub” on Twitter.

Q1: What do you think of the book so far? Like it? Dislike it? Any thoughts you’d like to share?


Q2: Where were your ancestors during the 1930s? Did they experience the Dust Bowl first hand?


Q3: What practices do farmers implement today that were probably influenced by the Dust Bowl?


Q4: How did WWI and WWII impact farming in this era?


Q5: Hindsight is 20/20. Was the Dust Bowl a confluence of unforeseen events that created the perfect storm? Or was this primarily a man-made disaster? Looking back, what was the biggest red flag?


Q6: Hazel Lucas just felt “right” in No Man’s Land (p. 44). Where’s that “right” place for you?


Join us on November 15th as we continue to read The Worst Hard Time. Week 2’s assignment is pages 52 – 88. See the full schedule here.

The #AgBookClub Twitter chat takes place Wednesdays at 8pm CST.

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