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The Dust Bowl: Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry (SE): History & Economics

General information about the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression


Primary Sources


Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl

Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl is available to check out from the Carrier Library and to watch online from the Alexander Press database. Netflix subscribers may also view it as a streaming video. This four-hour documentary tells the story of the Dust Bowl through oral history interviews, photos, and commentaries from scholars. 

Other Dust Bowl Films

American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl (PBS) is available to check out from the Carrier Library or watch online at the PBS website. This 55 minute video tells the story of the farmers who came to the Southern Plains of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas dreaming of prosperity, and lived through ten years of drought, dust, disease and death.

Stinging Dust & Forgotten Lives presents the Dust Bowl through the words and faces of the people who lived through it. It seeks to provide the human side of this environmental tragedy. The shorter, educational version is available below, but there is also a longer version that was shown on PBS. 

The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) is a short documentary film that shows what happened to the Great Plains region when uncontrolled farming led to the Dust Bowl. It was written and directed by Pare Lorentz and commissioned by the U.S. government.