The Dust Bowl Through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Helped Remedy a National Disaster

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9780802795489: The Dust Bowl Through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Helped Remedy a National Disaster
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The Dust Bowl was a time of hardship and disaster. The worst ecological disaster in our nation's history turned more than 100 million acres of fertile land almost completely to dust. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to seek new homes and opportunities thousands of miles away, while millions more chose to stay and battle nature to save their land. These terrible repercussions from the Dust Bowl contributed to the Great Depression, which impacted the entire country.

FDR's New Deal army of photographers took to the roads during this national crisis to document the human struggle of the proud people of the plains. Their pictures spoke a thousand words, and a new form a storytelling―photojournalism―was born. These talented cameramen and women used photographs to inform the rest of the nation and bring about much-needed change. With the help of iconic images from Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, and many more, Martin W. Sandler tells the story of this man-made natural disaster and these troubling economic times, ultimately showing how a nation can endure its darkest days through extraordinary courage and human spirit.

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About the Author:

MARTIN W. SANDLER is the author of Lincoln Through the Lens, which received two starred reviews and was named an Orbis Pictus Recommended Book, as well as more than sixty books, two of which have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Among his other books are The Story of American Photography, which was named a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor Book, and the six volumes in his award-winning Library of Congress history series for young people. He has won five Emmy Awards for his writing for television and has taught American history and American studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and at Smith College. Mr. Sandler lives in with his wife in Cotuit, Massachusetts.

From School Library Journal:

Starred Review. Grade 4–8—This excellent photo-essay traces the history of the Dust Bowl from its causes to its resolution. In tandem, Sandler treats the role of the budding field of photojournalism. Forty-four spreads feature a page of clear, direct text with a large, well-reproduced image, many of which are set on color pages. Many of these, such as Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" and Arthur Rothstein's "Fleeing a Dust Storm," have become iconic. The author repeatedly makes the point that it was in large part the force of these pictures that motivated the Roosevelt administration to take action in aid of both Dust Bowl farmers and migrant workers. Seldom has the connection between the arts and the general quality of life been made so clear. The text deals equally with those who fled the decimated Bread Basket for California and those who waited out the devastation and dust. Throughout, the use of primary sources is superb, with quotations from affected citizens, the photojournalists themselves, political and entertainment figures, and writers, giving a multifaceted picture of a seminal time in United States history. This book gives a more general picture of the time than Jerry Stanley's Children of the Dust Bowl (Crown, 1993) and is focused more specifically than Russell Freedman's Children of the Great Depression (Clarion, 2005). It provides a lesson in strength and perseverance that is certainly applicable today.—Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA END

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9780802795472: The Dust Bowl Through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Helped Remedy a National Disaster

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ISBN 10:  0802795471 ISBN 13:  9780802795472
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2009
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