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LIFE Dust Bowl

LIFE: Dust Bowl survivors

As fears of another and perhaps even more devastating Dust Bowl grip

vast regions of the country, LIFE.com offers a series of rare photos —

most of which never ran in LIFE magazine — by the great Alfred

Eisenstaedt. But these pictures don’t follow “Okies” as they leave their

world behind. Instead, Eisenstaedt’s photos chronicle the hardscrabble

existence of Oklahoma farmers who stayed: families who fought to keep

their livelihoods and their homesteads during those lean, unforgiving

years after the Dust Bowl — according to the history books, at least —

came to an end.