From College8CoreWiki

Here are more in-depth resources on the 1930's related to The Grapes of Wrath



Geoff Cunfer overview 10/16.

More extensive site (thanks to Wayback Machine)

update of Car crashes in Arizona in dust storm (video) 10/11.Oklahoma Summer 2011 record-setting heat, higher than 1934, previous record. 6/12.

BBC article on freak dust storm in Sydney, Australia 9/09. See also here.

Could These Mice Save Threatened Midwestern Prairies? (end. species PHOTOS).

Bringing Bison and Biodiversity Back to the Prairie A Montana-based nonprofit is moving to preserve 3.5 million acres of the Great Plains.

New York Times article on current drought in California and its effect on agriculture (Feb. 09).

California accent hella influenced by Dust Bowl migration.

Donald Worster.Dust Bowl : The Southern Plains in the 1930s New York : Oxford University Press, 1979. McHenry Stacks F786.W87 . Ch1: the Black Blizzard Rolls In ; Ch 13 excerpt, "A New Deal for Nature" see Dust Bowl. (college 8 wiki login required)

Worster O Pioneers Ch 12 "Dust Follows the Plow" excerpt from Nature's Economy. college 8 wiki login req

Wes Jackson, founder of the Land Institute is figuring out how to grow food in accordance with natural principles on the Great Plains prairie. See Sanders, Scott R. “Learning from the Prairie.” In The Force of Spirit in the course reader. 2011 text interview and 2009 interview(text and audio).


History Brief: the Dust Bowl by Reading Through History.

New Ken Burns documentary on the Dust Bowl (trailer and other excerpts, eg eco effect); (Intro). Lessons; Talk at Harvard eco school, (20 min excerpt starts at 10 min), (conversation with Ken Burns and Tim Egan); another extensive interview with excerpts.

Surviving the Dust Bowl / PBS The American Experience ; Youtubealt link alt link 2. McHenry Library Media Center VT5782 1 videocassette (57 min.) Transcript

Stinging Dust & Forgotten Lives: The Dust Bowl (Full Video) 60 min.

Great Depression PBS documentary. History Channel.

Boom Bust Boom by Pythoner Terry Jones uses muppets and music to explain economic crashes. 2016

The Civilian Conservation Corps put three million young men to work in camps across America during the height of the Great Depression. PBS 1930's series. Related: Hoover Dam.

The Crash of 1929 PBS. Crash of 1929

Interviews with people who lived through the Dust Bowl.

"After the Crash" Depression & Bonus March PBS American Experience 1990.

The Grapes of Wrath / Twentieth Century-Fox presents Darryl F. Zanuck's production c2007 Media Center DVD5838 trailer

Our Daily Bread and other films of the Great Depression / Film Preservation Associate c1999 McHenry Media Center DVD1410 Originally released as a motion picture made in 1934, and other short films produced in the 1930s.

Summary: Our Daily Bread (King Vidor 1934) is a depression-era drama in which a young couple leads a group of unemployed people in making a communal farm succeed. Includes a prologue to the movie by King Vidor. -- The fake newsreels "California Election News #1 and #2 (1934), were secretly produced by MGM as "dirty tricks" in the film industry's political war against Upton Sinclair. -- The River (Pare Lorentz 1937) dramatizes the stripping of the Mississipi River basin and the effort to restore this region. -- The Plow that Broke the Plains (Pare Lorentz 1936) focuses on the ecological and human tragedy of the Dust Bowl. -- Power and the Land (Rural Electrification Administration), elevates the photogenic Parkinson family to iconic figures of Americana. -- The New Frontier is a government documentary Media Center VT3302

The Plow that Broke the Plains [videorecording] : a U.S. documentary film which covers the history leading up to and including the Dust Bowl. Overview online at Prelinger; The River : a U.S. documentary film / written and directed by Pare Lorentz Media Center DVD4803

America Comes of Age II Online

Wild By Law: Bob Marshall, Aldo Leopold, and Howard Zahniser (VT7614) Summary: The Wilderness Act of 1964 is the legacy of three men: Wilderness Society Founder Bob Marshall, forester-philosopher Aldo Leopold, and activist Howard Zahniser. Looks at how these three men struggled against the current of American thought during industrialization of the 1920s, the war years of the 1940s, and the boom years of the 1950s. Eventually their actions caused a profound shift in American attitudes toward preservation of wild lands.

Issues explored: Dust Bowl, New Deal conservation, tourism, wilderness issues, Wilderness Act of 1964; Leopold and Zahniser's sons and daughters; historians and environmentalists William Cronon, Roderick Nash, Wallace Stegner, Max Oelschlager, Baird Callicott, Floyd Dominy, and David Brower. 1991, 60 min. Review PBS video, Am Exper. Florentine Films


Library of Congress's Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941.

On the Dirty Plate Trail : Remembering the Dust Bowl Refugee Camps / texts by Sanora Babb ; photographs by Dorothy Babb. Austin : University of Texas Press, McH Stacks HD5856.U5 B33 2007

Rare color images of the Great Depression, including Dust Bowl.

Dorthea Lange images.

Migrant Mother, the story behind Lange's very famous photo, icon of the Great Depression.


Map of the Dustbowl citation needed.

Basic map and timeline

High Plains Aquifer

Ogallala Aquifer

Historic bison range

Sound Recording/Music

Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday (see , for example Smithsonian video and other materials) has revived interest. This is seen in Across the Great Divide's playlist. The show features songs and stories from Ribbon of Highway, Endless SkywayCD, Tribute Tour . Guthrie was the orignial singer-songwriter, so without him no John Lennon or Bob Dylan NPR site. short video bio

Guthrie, Woody, 1912-1967. Dust bowl Ballads. [Sound recording] Folkways Records FH 5212. [1964] Media Center L812 samples

New Biography audio interview with Will Kaufman, author of Woody Guthrie: American Radical

Guthrie's "Dust Bowl Blues" with Dorthea Lange images.

"This Land is Your Land". Here are the lyrics they didn't teach you in grade school.

Library of Congress recordings: Green Back Dollar. Interview about dust storms, gov't camp and being called an Okie, why came to CA.

Rolling Stone review of Guthrie with links to samples. Guthrie inspired Bob Dylan a (shorter bio) and Bruce Springsteen. The legacy leading from from Whitman to The Boss explored in a book. See also Garman, Bryan. "The Ghost of History: Bruce Springsteen, Woody Guthrie, and the Hurt Song." Popular Music and Society 20.2 (1996): 69-120. (Campus access to article online).

Guthrie's "This land is Your Land" sung by Occupy Wall Street protesters who are then arrested. (video)

Bruce Springsteen "Ghost of Tom Joad" Lyrics (alt).
Video of original version
Video of kickass rock version w/ Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello (High Def). Rage Against the Machine version. Springsteen's SXSW talk explains his debt to Guthrie and Dylan (warning, f-bomb). Interview with Tom Morello

Wilco (the band) has done a cover of Guthrie's "The Jolly Banker." Both versions here, along with interview (audio and text).

Billy Bragg inspired by Guthrie and Seeger. audio interview 8/11.

The songwriter Joe Hill is one of the most enduring figures of the radical syndicalist Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies. He left a deep mark on protest music in this country, influencing Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie among others. Hill was executed in 1915 for a crime there was little evidence that he committed. Almost a century later, journalist William Adler has delved into charges against him and solved the riddle of the case against Hill (review). Adler discusses Hill's life, death, and legacy. book. Audio interview.


Donald Worster. Dust Bowl : The Southern Plains in the 1930ssummary New York : Oxford University Press, 1979. McHenry Stacks F786.W87 Ch 13 excerpt

O Pioneers Ch 12 "Dust Follows the Plow" excerpt from Nature's Economy

Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, foreward by Mike Davis.

Dust Bowl Diary by Ann Marie Low. Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, c1984. McH Stacks F636.L92 1984 Farming the Dust Bowl : a First-Hand Account from Kansas by Lawrence Svobida Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, 1986, c1940. Science & Engineering Library Stacks S623.S87 1986. 255 p. Originally published as An Empire of Dust, 1940.

Empire of Dust : Settling and Abandoning the Prairie Dry Belt / David C. Jones. Edmonton : University of Alberta Press, 1987. McH Stacks F1079.5.A43J66 1987

Dust Bowl, USA : Depression America and the Ecological Imagination, 1929-1941 / Brad D. Lookingbill. Athens : Ohio University Press, c2001 McH Stacks F595 .L66 2001

Land of Orange Groves and Jails: Upton Sinclair's California (California Legacy Book) Lauren Coodley, author interview)

Letters from the Dust Bowl / by Caroline Henderson ; edited by Alvin O. Turner. Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c2001 McH Stacks F702.N6 H46 2001

Children of the Dust Bowl : the true story of the school at Weedpatch Camp by Jerry Stanley ; illustrated with photographs. New York : Crown, c1992 Child Curric LC5152.C2S73 1992. Describes the plight of the migrant workers who traveled from the Dust Bowl to California during the Depression and were forced to live in a federal labor camp and discusses the school that was built for their children.

California and the Dust Bowl Migration by Walter J. Stein. Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press [1973] McH Stacks HD1527.C2S76 1973

American Exodus : the Dust Bowl Migration and & Okie Culture in California / James N. Gregory. New York : Oxford University Press, 1989. McH Stacks HB1985.C2G74 1989

The Worst Hard Time : The Untold Story of those who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl / Timothy Egan (conversation with Ken Burns and short review), longer review. Audio interview and excerpt. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006 McH Stacks F595 .E38 2006 Instructor recommended ***

Endangered Dreams : The Great Depression in California / Kevin Starr Published New York : Oxford University Press, 1996 McH Stacks HB3717 1919 .S73 1996.

Ian Frazier’s sweeping 1989 New Yorker series on the Great Plains was later turned into a best-selling book.

audio Ms. MAUREEN CORRIGAN (Book Critic) recommends ]Kirsten Downey's biography of Frances Perkins, called "The Woman Behind the New Deal." Franklin Roosevelt's controversial choice for secretary of Labor, achieved many of her bright ideas, like the minimum wage, work-hour limitations and the Social Security Act. Indeed, if Perkins had completely realized her vision, national health care would have long been an American reality.Link

Henry Ford, of course, was a bitter foe of FDR and his worker-friendly legislation. During the 1930s, Ford poured money and manpower into a Disneyland-type settlement in the Amazon called Fordlandia. In a lively work of narrative history of the same title, historian Greg Grandin rediscovers this forgotten utopian town, the ruins of which still stand deep in the jungles of Brazil. Grandin mentions that Fordlandia had a dance hall where only polkas and minuets were allowed, since Ford disapproved of the sex dancing that was sweeping America in the 1920s and '30s. excerpt

In contrast, esteemed literary critic Morris Dickstein's cultural history of the 1930s called Dancing in the Dark is fascinated with Busby Berkeley's sex-dancing extravaganzas. Dickstein also investigates the deeper meanings of art deco industrial design, gangster movies, and the novels of Zora Neale Hurston and John Steinbeck.

The New Deal: A Modern History, by Michael Hiltzik Audio interview on KQED/NPR.