The Worst Hard Time

The Worst Hard Time
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780547347776
Available:
Release: 2006-09-01
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award–winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows. The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Timothy Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, he does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, “the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect” (New York Times). In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” (Austin Statesman Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful reminder about the dangers of trifling with nature. This e-book includes a sample chapter of THE IMMORTAL IRISHMAN.

The Worst Hard Time

The Worst Hard Time
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 340
ISBN: UVA:X004903627
Available:
Release: 2006
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Presents an oral history of the dust storms that devastated the Great Plains during the Depression, following several families and their communities in their struggle to persevere despite the devastation.

The Good Rain

The Good Rain
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780307794710
Available:
Release: 2011-05-18
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A fantastic book! Timothy Egan describes his journeys in the Pacific Northwest through visits to salmon fisheries, redwood forests and the manicured English gardens of Vancouver. Here is a blend of history, anthropology and politics.

A Pilgrimage to Eternity

A Pilgrimage to Eternity
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780735225244
Available:
Release: 2019-10-15
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From "the world's greatest tour guide," a deeply-researched, captivating journey through the rich history of Christianity and the winding paths of the French and Italian countryside that will feed mind, body, and soul (New York Times). "What a wondrous work! This beautifully written and totally clear-eyed account of his pilgrimage will have you wondering whether we should all embark on such a journey, either of the body, the soul or, as in Egan's case, both." --Cokie Roberts "Egan draws us in, making us feel frozen in the snow-covered Alps, joyful in valleys of trees with low-hanging fruit, skeptical of the relics of embalmed saints and hopeful for the healing of his encrusted toes, so worn and weathered from their walk."--The Washington Post Moved by his mother's death and his Irish Catholic family's complicated history with the church, Timothy Egan decided to follow in the footsteps of centuries of seekers to force a reckoning with his own beliefs. He embarked on a thousand-mile pilgrimage through the theological cradle of Christianity to explore the religion in the world that it created. Egan sets out along the Via Francigena, once the major medieval trail leading the devout to Rome, and travels overland via the alpine peaks and small mountain towns of France, Switzerland and Italy, accompanied by a quirky cast of fellow pilgrims and by some of the towering figures of the faith--Joan of Arc, Henry VIII, Martin Luther. The goal: walking to St. Peter's Square, in hopes of meeting the galvanizing pope who is struggling to hold together the church through the worst crisis in half a millennium. A thrilling journey, a family story, and a revealing history, A Pilgrimage to Eternity looks for our future in its search for God.

The Big Burn

The Big Burn
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780547416861
Available:
Release: 2009-10-19
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

National Book Award–winner Timothy Egan turns his historian's eye to the largest-ever forest fire in America and offers an epic, cautionary tale for our time. On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men to fight the fires, but no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan recreates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, and the larger story of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, that follows is equally resonant. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. Even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by his rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service in ways we can still witness today. This e-book includes a sample chapter of SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER.

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780547840604
Available:
Release: 2012-10-09
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea . . . Egan’s spirited biography might just bring [Curtis] the recognition that eluded him in life.” —Washington Post Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous portrait photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. But when he was thirty-two years old, in 1900, he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared. Curtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty North American tribes. It took tremendous perseverance—ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him to observe their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Curtis would amass more than 40,000 photographs and 10,000 audio recordings, and he is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian. “A darn good yarn. Egan is a muscular storyteller and his book is a rollicking page-turner with a colorfully drawn hero.” —San Francisco Chronicle “A riveting biography of an American original.” —Boston Globe

The Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl
Author: Dayton Duncan,Ken Burns
Pages: 369
ISBN: 9781452119151
Available:
Release: 2012-10-12
Editor: Chronicle Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This “riveting” companion to the PBS documentary “clarifies our understanding of the ‘worst manmade ecological disaster in American history’” (Booklist). In this riveting chronicle, Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns capture the profound drama of the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Terrifying photographs of mile-high dust storms, along with firsthand accounts by more than two dozen eyewitnesses, bring to life this heart-wrenching catastrophe, when a combination of drought, wind, and poor farming practices turned millions of acres of the Great Plains into a wasteland, killing crops and livestock, threatening the lives of small children, burying homesteaders’ hopes under huge dunes of dirt—and setting in motion a mass migration the likes of which the nation had never seen. Burns and Duncan collected more than three hundred mesmerizing photographs, some never before published, scoured private letters, government reports, and newspaper articles, and conducted in-depth interviews to produce a document that may likely be the last recorded testimony of the generation who lived through this defining decade.

Lasso the Wind

Lasso the Wind
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780307557308
Available:
Release: 2009-09-23
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year Winner of the Mountains and Plains Book Seller's Association Award "Sprawling in scope. . . . Mr. Egan uses the past powerfully to explain and give dimension to the present." --The New York Times "Fine reportage . . . honed and polished until it reads more like literature than journalism." --Los Angeles Times "They have tried to tame it, shave it, fence it, cut it, dam it, drain it, nuke it, poison it, pave it, and subdivide it," writes Timothy Egan of the West; still, "this region's hold on the American character has never seemed stronger." In this colorful and revealing journey through the eleven states west of the 100th meridian, Egan, a third-generation westerner, evokes a lovely and troubled country where land is religion and the holy war between preservers and possessors never ends. Egan leads us on an unconventional, freewheeling tour: from America's oldest continuously inhabited community, the Ancoma Pueblo in New Mexico, to the high kitsch of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where London Bridge has been painstakingly rebuilt stone by stone; from the fragile beauty of Idaho's Bitterroot Range to the gross excess of Las Vegas, a city built as though in defiance of its arid environment. In a unique blend of travel writing, historical reflection, and passionate polemic, Egan has produced a moving study of the West: how it became what it is, and where it is going. "The writing is simply wonderful. From the opening paragraph, Egan seduces the reader. . . . Entertaining, thought provoking." --The Arizona Daily Star Weekly "A western breeziness and love of open spaces shines through Lasso the Wind. . . . The writing is simple and evocative." --The Economist

Water

Water
Author: Marq De Villiers
Pages: 352
ISBN: 0618127445
Available:
Release: 2001
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Examines the political and ecological consequences of the uses and misuses of water as increasing demands threaten the global supply--issues compounded by decreasing water table levels and rampant pollution.

Curse of the Narrows

Curse of the Narrows
Author: Laura M. Mac Donald
Pages: 368
ISBN: 0802718396
Available:
Release: 2009-05-26
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In 1917, the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was crowded with ships leaving for war-torn Europe. On December 6th, two of them-the Mont Blanc and the Imo-collided in the Narrows, a hard-to-navigate stretch of the harbor. Ablaze, and with explosions on her deck filling the sky, the Mont Blanc grounded against the city's docks. As thousands rushed to their windows and into the streets to watch, she exploded with such force that the 3,121 tons of her iron hull vaporized in a cloud that shot up more than 2,000 feet; the explosion was so unusual that Robert Oppenheimer would study its effects to predict the devastation of an atomic bomb. The blast caused a giant wave that swept over parts of the city, followed by a slick, black rain that fell for ten minutes. Much of the city was flattened, and not one in 12,000 buildings within a 16-mile radius left undamaged. More than 1,600 Haligonians were killed and 6,000 injured; and within twenty-four hours, a blizzard had isolated Halifax from the world. Set vividly against the background of World War I, Curse of the Narrows is the first major account of the world's largest pre-atomic explosion, the epic relief mission from Boston, and the riveting trial of the Mont Blanc's captain and pilot. Laura M. Mac Donald is as adept at describing the dynamics of a chain reaction explosion as she is at chronicling unforgettable human dramas of miraculous survival, unfathomable loss, and the medical breakthroughs in pediatrics and eye surgery that followed the disaster . Using primary sources--many of which haven't been read in decades and--with a wonderful feel for narrative history, Mac Donald chronicles one of the most compelling and dramatic events of the 20th century.

The Immortal Irishman

The Immortal Irishman
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780544272477
Available:
Release: 2016-03-01
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"An old-fashioned tale of tall talk, high ideals,and irresistible appeal . . . You will not read a historical thriller like this all year . . . [Egan] is a master storyteller." —Boston Globe “Egan has a gift for sweeping narrative . . . and he has a journalist’s eye for the telltale detail . . . This is masterly work.” — New York Times Book Review In this exciting and illuminating work, National Book Award winner Timothy Egan delivers a story, both rollicking and haunting, of one of the most famous Irish Americans of all time. A dashing young orator during the Great Hunger of the 1840s, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony for life. But two years later he was “back from the dead” and in New York, instantly the most famous Irishman in America. Meagher’s rebirth included his leading the newly formed Irish Brigade in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War. Afterward, he tried to build a new Ireland in the wild west of Montana—a quixotic adventure that ended in the great mystery of his disappearance, which Egan resolves convincingly at last. “This is marvelous stuff. Thomas F. Meagher strides onto Egan's beautifully wrought pages just as he lived—powerfully larger than life. A fascinating account of an extraordinary life.” — Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat “Thomas Meagher’s is an irresistible story, irresistibly retold by the virtuosic Timothy Egan . . . A gripping, novelistic page-turner.” — Wall Street Journal

The Great American Dust Bowl

The Great American Dust Bowl
Author: Don Brown
Pages: 80
ISBN: 9780544307995
Available:
Release: 2013-10-08
Editor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A speck of dust is a tiny thing. In fact, five of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence. On a clear, warm Sunday, April 14, 1935, a wild wind whipped up millions upon millions of these specks of dust to form a duster—a savage storm—on America's high southern plains. The sky turned black, sand-filled winds scoured the paint off houses and cars, trains derailed, and electricity coursed through the air. Sand and dirt fell like snow—people got lost in the gloom and suffocated . . . and that was just the beginning. Don Brown brings the Dirty Thirties to life with kinetic, highly saturated, and lively artwork in this graphic novel of one of America's most catastrophic natural events: the Dust Bowl.

Breaking Blue

Breaking Blue
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 267
ISBN: 9780307800404
Available:
Release: 2011-11-16
Editor: Knopf
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“No one who enjoys mystery can fail to savor this study of a classic case of detection.” —TONY HILLERMAN On the night of September 14, 1935, George Conniff, a town marshal in Pend Oreille County in the state of Washington, was shot to death. A lawman had been killed, yet there seemed to be no uproar, no major investigation. No suspect was brought to trial. More than fifty years later, the sheriff of Pend Oreille County, Tony Bamonte, in pursuit of both justice and a master’s degree in history, dug into the files of the Conniff case—by then the oldest open murder case in the United States. Gradually, what started out as an intellectual exercise became an obsession, as Bamonte asked questions that unfolded layer upon layer of unsavory detail. In Timothy Egan’s vivid account, which reads like a thriller, we follow Bamonte as his investigation plunges him back in time to the Depression era of rampant black-market crime and police corruption. We see how the suppressed reports he uncovers and the ambiguous answers his questions evoke lead him to the murder weapon—missing for half a century—and then to the man, an ex-cop, he is convinced was the murderer. Bamonte himself—a logger’s son and a Vietnam veteran—had joined the Spokane police force in the late 1960s, a time when increasingly enlightened and educated police departments across the country were shaking off the “dirty cop” stigma. But as he got closer to actually solving the crime, questioning elderly retired members of the force, he found himself more and more isolated, shut out by tight-lipped hostility, and made dramatically aware of the fraternal sin he had committed—breaking the blue code. Breaking Blue is a gripping story of cop against cop. But it also describes a collision between two generations of lawmen and two very different moments in our nation’s history.

Dust Bowl

Dust Bowl
Author: Donald Worster,Hall Distinguished Professor of History Donald Worster
Pages: 277
ISBN: UOM:39015035331985
Available:
Release: 1979
Editor: New York : Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Personal recollections recreate experiences of two Dust Bowl communities.

HARDT TIMES

HARDT TIMES
Author: STUDS TERKEL
Pages: 329
ISBN:
Available:
Release: 1970
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Winemaker s Daughter

The Winemaker s Daughter
Author: Timothy Egan
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780307429636
Available:
Release: 2007-12-18
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times national correspondent Timothy Egan turns to fiction with The Winemaker's Daughter, a lyrical and gripping novel about the harsh realities and ecological challenges of turning water into wine. When Brunella Cartolano visits her father on the family vineyard in the basin of the Cascade Mountains, she's shocked by the devastation caused by a four-year drought. Passionate about the Pacific Northwest ecology, Brunella, a cultural impact analyst, is embroiled in a battle to save the Seattle waterfront from redevelopment and to preserve a fisherman's livelihood. But when a tragedy among fire-jumpers results from a failure of the water supply–her brother Niccolo is among those lost--Brunella finds herself with another mission: to find out who is sabotaging the area's water supply. Joining forces with a Native American Forest Ranger, she discovers deep rifts rooted in the region's complicated history, and tries to save her father's vineyard from drying up for good . . . even as violence and corruption erupt around her.

Whose Names Are Unknown

Whose Names Are Unknown
Author: Sanora Babb
Pages: 222
ISBN: 9780806180786
Available:
Release: 2012-11-20
Editor: University of Oklahoma Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Sanora Babb’s long-hidden novel Whose Names Are Unknown tells of the High Plains farmers who fled drought and dust storms during the Great Depression. Written with empathy for the farmers’ plight, this powerful narrative is based upon the author’s firsthand experience. Babb submitted the manuscript for this book to Random House for consideration in 1939. Editor Bennett Cerf planned to publish this “exceptionally fine” novel but when John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath swept the nation, Cerf explained that the market could not support two books on the subject.

The Echo Maker

The Echo Maker
Author: Richard Powers
Pages: 464
ISBN: 0374706549
Available:
Release: 2007-04-01
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, 27-year-old Mark Schluter flips his truck in a near-fatal accident. His older sister Karin, his only near kin, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury. But when he emerges from a protracted coma, Mark believes that this woman–who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister–is really an identical impostor. Shattered by her brother's refusal to recognize her, Karin contacts the cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber, famous for his case histories describing the infinitely bizarre worlds of brain disorder. Weber recognizes Mark as a rare case of Capgras Syndrome, a doubling delusion, and eagerly investigates. What he discovers in Mark slowly undermines even his own sense of being. Meanwhile, Mark, armed only with a note left by an anonymous witness, attempts to learn what happened the night of his inexplicable accident. The truth of that evening will change the lives of all three beyond recognition. Set against the Platte River's massive spring migrations–one of the greatest spectacles in nature–The Echo Maker is a gripping mystery that explores the improvised human self and the even more precarious brain that splits us from and joins us to the rest of creation. The Echo Maker is the winner of the 2006 National Book Award for Fiction.

Assume the Worst

Assume the Worst
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Pages: 64
ISBN: 9780525655022
Available:
Release: 2018-04-10
Editor: Knopf
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This is Oh, the Places You'll Never Go--the ultimate hilarious, cynical, but absolutely realistic view of a college graduate's future. And what he or she can or can't do about it. "This commencement address will never be given, because graduation speakers are supposed to offer encouragement and inspiration. That's not what you need. You need a warning." So begins Carl Hiaasen's attempt to prepare young men and women for their future. And who better to warn them about their precarious paths forward than Carl Hiaasen? The answer, after reading Assume the Worst, is: Nobody. And who better to illustrate--and with those illustrations, expand upon and cement Hiaasen's cynical point of view--than Roz Chast, best-selling author/illustrator and National Book Award winner? The answer again is easy: Nobody. Following the format of Anna Quindlen's commencement address (Being Perfect) and George Saunders's commencement address (Congratulations, by the way), the collaboration of Hiaasen and Chast might look typical from the outside, but inside it is anything but. This book is bound to be a classic, sold year after year come graduation time. Although it's also a good gift for anyone starting a job, getting married, or recently released from prison. Because it is not just funny. It is, in its own Hiaasen way, extremely wise and even hopeful. Well, it might not be full of hope, but there are certainly enough slivers of the stuff in there to more than keep us all going.

Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things
Author: Hunter Biden
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781982151119
Available:
Release: 2021-04-06
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love,” Hunter Biden writes in this deeply moving memoir of addiction, loss, and survival. When he was two years old, Hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved big brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer at the age of forty-six. These hardships were compounded by the collapse of his marriage and a years-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction. In Beautiful Things, Hunter recounts his descent into substance abuse and his tortuous path to sobriety. The story ends with where Hunter is today—a sober married man with a new baby, finally able to appreciate the beautiful things in life.