Nov./Dec. 2017 - The Worst Hard Time

12/6/17 #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 continued with our November/December selection, The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan. The assigned pages, 143 – 192, began to show us some of the worst times of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Many families were beginning to give up in the face of hardship and loss. The U.S. government started to intervene with jobs and financial assistance, which helped a lot of farmers hang on to their homesteads for another year. Survival became a community effort, and it was clear that people were more resilient when united.

Below are several responses that we thought summed up the Week 4 chat well, covered themes, or contained thought-provoking questions or comments.

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: Share time! What’s been your favorite or least favorite part of this section? Catch anything interesting that hit home?


Q2: “Conservation – that was the new word” (p. 178). What would we be missing from today’s farming practices if the Dust Bowl had not happened? How long would it have been before the word ‘conservation’ came about?


Q3: Early in the 1930s, the government started to offer farmers contracts to not grow wheat (p. 158). Do you think those contracts to keep farmers from growing an unprofitable crop and adding to the surplus contributed to the dust storms? How or how not?


Q4: “Bennett wanted people to see the whole of the living Plains, just not squares of ownership” (p. 159). Name one example of farmers partnering to care for their lands (today or historically).


Q5: The government men told Lucas he could do the shooting, or they could let the cowboy they had hired execute the Lucas animals. He chose the cowboy.” (p. 146). Which would you have chosen: doing it yourself or letting the cowboy do it?


Q6: Would you consider yourself more of a “tomorrow person” or more of a “yesterday person”?


We’ll be continuing this book into December, so join us at 8pm Wednesday, December 13th as we discuss Week 5’s reading assignment of The Worst Hard Time. We’ll be discussing pages 193 – 253. See the full schedule here.

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

Christmas is coming soon! Need some help with ideas for your wish list or gifts for book lovers in your life? Check out what’s coming up on #AgBookClub in early 2018. Buy them the book (or books!) and encourage them to participate in the weekly discussion – it’s the gift that keeps on giving! 🙂

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