The Worst Hard Times

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The Worst Hard Times
Study Guide Chapters 3-5

I. PROMISE: The Great Plowup, 1901-1930
Chapter 3: Creating Dalhart
1. Vocabulary (choose 3 that you want to make sure you know): sharecropping (p. 52), optimism (p. 53), factory farms (p. 53), hooch (p. 54), landlord (56), cannon fodder (57)

2. Make a list of all the names. Who are they? What are their stories in connection with Dalhart and the times told of in this book?

3. Make a list of all the different ways the grass of the prairie is referred to; also keep a list of all the ways the land and the dust are referred to.

4. What were the ways people hoped to make money around Dalhart? Which were successful and which were not?

5. Who were the ‘girls’? What did they do for the town? (Read between the lines. The actual words on the page are not the answer to this question.)

6. Who were the people (US origins? European origins?) migrating to the High Plains? What were they looking and hoping for?

Chapter 4: High Plains Deutsch

1. Vocabulary (choose 5 you want to make sure you know): glut (p. 59), wheat mounds (p. 59), bushel (p. 59), debts, naked (p. 60), gamble (p. 60), swamping (p 60), defiant (p. 61), pungent (p. 62), potent (p. 62), turkey red (p. 62), thistle (p. 62), pacifists (p. 62), manifest destiny (p. 64), yeomen (p. 66)

2. When wheat prices went down and then down again, what did farmers do? What do you think of this?

3. Add to your list of all the names. What are their stories in connection with the area mentioned and the times told of in this book?

4. What is the family event in this chapter? Like other chapters, Egan begins telling this story, but then he goes to other events. What is the point of the story he tells us in this chapter?

5. What are the similarities and differences between the story of Russia and the High Plains?

6. What is the point of George Ehrlich family story? What particular...
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