Dust Bowl Criticism

996 Words4 Pages
The printed work of the Dust Bowl written by Donald Worster tells of the devastating man-made events that occurred between 1929 and 1939. Worster described this time in history as the darkest moment life in the southern plains encountered in the twentieth-century (4) which was a time where drought, poverty, and famine were of concern. Worster also ties the Great Depression with the Dust Bowl and said that the same society produced them both because of the weakness of America (5). He strongly believes that the Dust Bowl was not a disaster created by nature, but a crisis created by man due to capitalism. Dust Bowl gives a powerful stance on how man ignored the limits of the land which led them into the dirty thirties; however, his beliefs cause him to disregard the disaster as the fault of nature, and specifically blamed man. Large numbers of people migrated to the grasslands and plowed the areas to farm. Over time, the soil wore out and the cycle of rain stopped, causing the soil to blow away. The natural way that wildlife lived was disrupted by civilization, and since nature was damaged, the mutual cooperation between humans, land, animals, and soil failed. Man wanted to proceed forward, but their desire for wealth caused them a Great Depression, and a horrendous storm that wiped away their land. The expansion to the frontier and the wearing of the soil was not to make a living, but to bring more money to the people even though the soil was not capable of growing a sizable amount of crops. The point that Worster clearly makes throughout his book was that capitalism caused the problem. He believed the two linked disasters, The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression were entirely man-made because of flaws in American society. Worster could not define capitalism with one simple meaning, but says that man viewed the land as a business. They worked the land until they could not work it anymore, and even then, they continued to plow the fields trying to get every last grain that would provide them with more money. Worster wrote that man had a right to use the land because "the highest economic rewards go to those who have done the most to extract nature from all it can yield" (Worster 6). Therefore, the land was
Get Access