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Douglas Sheflin

Legacies of Dust

Land Use and Labor on the Colorado Plains

University of Nebraska Press 2019

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Environmental StudiesNew Books in GeographyNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in the American West July 10, 2019 Ryan Driskell Tate

The “Dust Bowl” remains a mainstay in American history textbooks. When dust storms swept over the southern plains in the 1930s, they upended farming...

The “Dust Bowl” remains a mainstay in American history textbooks. When dust storms swept over the southern plains in the 1930s, they upended farming communities and left thousands of migrants in search of brighter horizons in the “Dirty Thirties.” The historian Douglas Sheflin takes a closer look at the Dust Bowl’s long-term legacy in the often overlooked Colorado plains that border Kansas and Oklahoma. His book, Legacies of Dust: Land Use and Labor on the Colorado Plains (University of Nebraska, 2019), shows that the Dust Bowl changed the environment, land-use patterns, and labor structures in the region for decades beyond the disaster.


Ryan Driskell Tate is a Ph.D. candidate in American history at Rutgers University. He teaches courses on modern US history, environmental history, and histories of labor and capitalism. He is completing a book on energy development in the American West. Follow him on Twitter @rydriskelltate