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More than four decades after his death, John Steinbeck remains one of the nation's most beloved authors. Yet few know of his career as a journalist who covered world events from the Great Depression to Vietnam. Now, this distinctive collection offers a portrait of the artist as citizen, deeply engaged in the world around him. In addition to the complete text of Steinbeck's last published book, America and Americans, this volume brings together for the first time more than fifty of Steinbeck's finest essays and journalistic pieces on Salinas, Sag Harbor, Arthur Miller, Woody Guthrie, the Vietnam War and more. This edition is edited by Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw and Steinbeck biographer Jackson J. Benson. .
From the preface: This book is a centennial tribute to John Steinbeck, born February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. Over two years ago, after I discussed this project with both Elaine Steinbeck, the author's widow, and Eugene Winkle, President of McIntosh and Otis, I started writing letters to writers. The letter said, in part: "I would like to compile a volume of other writers' brief comments on Steinbeck: his importance as a twentieth-century literary and cultural figure; his significance to your own work; his impact as a writer. Any length comment would be most appreciated ... There seems no better way to commemorate the importance of Steinbeck than to show how he influenced others." Compiled here are the responses I received. It is certainly a tribute to Steinbeck the writer; it is also a tribute to the men and women of letters who wrote so generously and thoughtfully about his work.
This part art book, part biography, and part travel guide offers insight into how landscapes and townscapes influenced John Steinbeck's creative process and how, in turn, his legacy has influenced modern California. Various types of readers will appreciate the information in this guide-literary pilgrims will learn more about the state featured so prominently in Steinbeck's work, tourists can visit the same buildings that he lived in and wrote about, and historians will appreciate the engrossing perspective on daily life in early and mid 20th-century California. Offering an entirely new perspective on Steinbeck and the people and places that he brought to life in his writing, this edition includes a wonderful variety of photographs, sketches, and paintings, including some from private, rarely seen collections. With a new preface from the author, updated details on featured websites, a new discussion on Steinbeck's ecological interests and activities, and an extended exploration of his many travels to Mexico, readers will find delight in this depiction of the symbiotic relationship between an author and his favorite places.
One of today's foremost Steinbeck scholars writes an extended meditation on the influence of The Grapes of Wrath, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of its first publication In this compelling biography of a book, Susan Shillinglaw delves into John Steinbeck's classic to explore the cultural, social, political, scientific, and creative impact of The Grapes of Wrath upon first publication, as well as its enduring legacy. First published in April 1939, Steinbeck's National Book Award-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. The story of their struggle remains eerily relevant in today's America and stands as a portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, "in the souls of the people."