Hemingway's The Grapes of Wrath still stands as a quintessential piece of Great American Writing. The story of the sufferings and trials of the Dust Bowl as experienced by one family, the hurt and trials gone through trying to have a small piece of the American Dream haunt. 455 pages, softcover.
Format: Paperback Number of Pages: 464 Vendor: Penguin Putnam Inc. Publication Date: 2003 Dimensions: 8.44 X 5.50 X 1.50 (inches)
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.
The Grapes of Wrath summed up its era in the way that Uncle Tom’s Cabin summed up the years of slavery before the Civil War. Sensitive to fascist and communist criticism, Steinbeck insisted that The Battle Hymn of the Republic” be printed in its entirety in the first edition of the bookwhich takes its title from the first verse: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.” 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.
The Great Books Foundation Discussion Guide for The Grapes of Wrath is available at www.penguinputnam.com and at www.greatbooks.org.
No writer is more quintessentially American than John Steinbeck. Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck attended Stanford University before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs and embarking on his literary career. Profoundly committed to social progress, he used his writing to raise issues of labor exploitation and the plight of the common man, penning some of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century and winning such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He received the Nobel Prize in 1962, "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.
"Steinbeck is a poet. . . . Everything is real, everything perfect." Upton Sinclair, Common Sense
"I think, and with earnest and honest consideration . . . that The Grapes of Wrath is the greatest American novel I have ever read." Dorothy Parker
"It seems to me as great a book as has yet come out of America." Alexander Woollcott