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The Harvest Gypsies gives us an eyewitness account of the horrendous Dust Bowl migration and provides the factual foundation for Steinbeck's masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath.
In the late 1930s, John Steinbeck, Richard Wright, and Ernest Hemingway wrote novels that won critical acclaim and popular success: The Grapes of Wrath, Native Son, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. All three writers were involved with the Left at the time, and that commitment informed their fiction. Milton Cohen examines their motives for involvement with the Left; their novels’ political themes; and why they separated from the Left after the novels were published. These writers were deeply conflicted about their political commitments, and Cohen explores the tensions that arose between politics and art, resulting in the abandonment of a political attachment.
The Grapes of Wrath: A Re-Consideration is a collection of essays compiled by Steinbeck bibliographer, Michael J. Meyer, in celebration of the novel's seventieth anniversary. Following the pattern of previous books in the Dialogue series, this study presents analyses by senior Steinbeck scholars and also introduces several new voices. Issues addressed include accusations about the novel's sentimentality, speculations about its status as a work of naturalism, and questions about its experimental structure. In addition, the language and imagery of the novel, its religious overtones, and its reputation as a radical work of art are revisited with fresh insights. Because The Grapes of Wrath holds iconic stature as an American masterpiece, both scholarly and lay readers will welcome this two volume set since it includes many new avenues of approach that will encourage greater insights, deeper understandings, and further explorations of the complexities of Steinbeck’s achievements in this classic work of art.
Examines the relationship between art and journalism in the 1930s, and discusses how intellectuals strove to be relevant during this trying time by using their own involvement in labor struggles to influence their art.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers. First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics. This Centennial edition, specially designed to commemorate one hundred years of Steinbeck, features french flaps and deckle-edged pages. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
During the past three centuries, California has stood at the crossroads of European, Asian, Native American and Latino cultures, and seen the best and worst of multiracial and multi-ethnic interaction. The Human Tradition in California captures the region's rich history and takes readers into the daily lives of ordinary Californians at key moments in time. Professors Davis and Igler have selected essays that emphasize how individual people and communities have experienced and influenced the broad social, cultural, political and economic forces that have shaped California history. Organized chronologically from the pre-mission period through the late-twentieth century, this book taps into the whole spectrum of Californian experience and offers new perspectives on the state's complex social character. The story is personalized through the use of mini-biographies, drawing readers directly into the narrative.
“Nothing is more anathema to a serious radical than regionalism,” Berkeley English professor Henry Nash Smith asserted in 1980. Although regionalism in the American West has often been characterized as an inherently conservative, backward-looking force, regionalist impulses have in fact taken various forms throughout U.S. history. The essays collected in Regionalists on the Left uncover the tradition of left-leaning western regionalism during the 1930s and 1940s. Editor Michael C. Steiner has assembled a group of distinguished scholars who explore the lives and works of sixteen progressive western intellectuals, authors, and artists, ranging from nationally prominent figures such as John Steinbeck and Carey McWilliams to equally influential, though less well known, figures such as Angie Debo and Américo Paredes. Although they never constituted a unified movement complete with manifestos or specific goals, the thinkers and leaders examined in this volume raised voices of protest against racial, environmental, and working-class injustices during the Depression era that reverberate in the twenty-first century. Sharing a deep affection for their native and adopted places within the West, these individuals felt a strong sense of avoidable and remediable wrong done to the land and the people who lived upon it, motivating them to seek the root causes of social problems and demand change. Regionalists on the Left shows also that this radical regionalism in the West often took urban, working-class, and multicultural forms. Other books have dealt with western regionalism in general, but this volume is unique in its focus on left-leaning regionalists, including such lesser-known writers as B. A. Botkin, Carlos Bulosan, Sanora Babb, and Joe Jones. Tracing the relationship between politics and place across the West, Regionalists on the Left highlights a significant but neglected strain of western thought and expression.

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