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Lessons for Today from the Past

4out of 5

by Sirius on April 15, 2011

Timothy Egan paints an arresting picture of the desperate times on the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Underlying the human tragedies are the environmental depredations brought on by greed and the "bubble" in the commodities markets for wheat during the years during and after World War I (through the boom times of the 1920s). The sod on the short-grass prairies was methodically plowed and stripped, and the region was planted as a monoculture of this annual crop--with nothing to hold the soil when the drought and winds came.

Clear parallels can be readily seen with the recent "housing bubble" with its subprime mortgages and "derivatives" and the near-collapse of the world's monetary system in 2008.
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Reviewed by Sirius

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