Dust Bowl pp 1-23 | Cite as

Introduction: The World Is a Dust Bowl

  • Janette-Susan Bailey
Part of the Palgrave Studies in World Environmental History book series (PSWEH)


This introduction describes the idea of a soil menace to civilization, and the concept of a “dust bowl.” It describes the major print, film, and broadcast media event generated by the ecological catastrophe of the Dust Bowl as circulating around the world and the Dust Bowl as a defining US national mythology. This section explains why a cultural and transnational research approach was needed to understand how, when, and why the idea of a dust bowl found currency in World War Two Australia. It introduces those who created a hitherto unknown and vast collection of Australian dust bowl imagery, where Australian narratives of the Snowy River, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs), sheep, the Mallee, and deserts converged with US national narratives describing dams, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the Dust Bowl.


Soil Erosion Dust Storm Soil Conservation Polar Bear Environmental History 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janette-Susan Bailey
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South WalesPontypriddUK

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