One Man's Voice

Article number: DAVIS OMV
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One Man's Voice, edited by Marsha Davis, is the story of an ordinary man trying to survive at an extraordinary time in history; a time that was discouraging and disheartening for many Americans. The Dust Bowl, the dirty thirties, the Depression: all marked an entire generation.

On January 1, 1936, Nebraska farmer Donald Hartwell began another five-year diary. He kept many journals during his lifetime, but this one chronicled the years when the life that Hartwell had always known crumbled under the weight of drought and dust.

First excerpted in Timothy Egan's award-winning book, The Worst Hard Time, the Donald Hartwell diary is offered in its five-year entirety in One Man's Voice. Hartwell's journal entries are keenly personal and his observations on farming, politics, world events, poetry, and life in general seem as touching and relevant today as they did in the 1936 era. Hartwell openly records his vulnerabilities and his personal demons, but he also reveals an enduring spirit when he writes of his love for nature and for the land.

Don and his wife, Verna, stayed in Inavale, Nebraska, for as long as they could. In the end, circumstances and poverty forced them to make difficult decisions for their lives. Donald Hartwell, in his diary, offers a unique insight into a community and into the lives of people doing their best to keep going when so much was working against them.

First Foxhill Books: 2014 | Paperback: 199 pages


About the Author

Marsha Davis was born and raised in rural Iowa. She moved to Colorado in 1967 and—with detours to Tours, France, and Lawrence, Kansas—continues to call Colorado home. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a master's degree from Colorado State University. After a thirty year career in education as a teacher and administrator, she retired in 2005 and has returned to her first loves: research, history, and travel. In addition to her career in education, she has also been a textbook editor and a television writer/editor/producer. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship, a Telly Award, and multiple Excellence in Journalism awards. One Man's Voice is her first book.

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