LIFE: Dust Bowl survivors

LIFE Dust Bowl

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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.

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