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John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.

New York, P. F. Collier & Son, 1939.

First-year printing by a different publisher.

Brown boards with blue illustration on cover and spine and maroon author signature on front.

8vo, plain endpapers, 624 pp.

This Vintage Book is in Very Good to Excellent Condition :

The hardcover has slight wear with light rubbing wear on top and bottom.

The outside page edges have slight wear.

The inside pages are clean with very slight wear, NO rips and light browning.

The binding is tight with NO loose pages.


With its release in April of 1939, The Grapes of Wrath swept the country, bringing on a storm of reviews.

In his writing on Steinbeck's career, Peter Lisca recalled the impact of the book's publication: "The Grapes of Wrath was a phenomenon on the scale of a national event.

It was publicly banned and burned by citizens, it was debated on national radio hook-ups; but above all, it was read." Steinbeck's passionate portrayal of the journey of the starving Joad family from the dust bowls of Oklahoma to the fertile valley of California evoked an emotional response in all that read it. Earle Birney called the writing of the book, "a 'deed' - the act of a man out of the pity and wrath of his heart," while a critic for the London Times named it "one of the most arresting [novels] of its time."

Steinbeck's popularity with the American public soared, as they found his words to be from the heart of a man whose novels celebrated life and the common fellowship of man.

This ability to evoke emotion led to serious criticism of the message of The Grapes of Wrath, as Steinbeck was attacked as a propagandist and a socialist from both the left and the right of the political spectrum.

The most fervent of these attacks came from the Associated Farmers of California, as they were displeased with the book's depiction of California farmer's attitudes and conduct toward the migrants.

They denounced the book as a "pack of lies" and labeled it "communist propaganda". Along with this group, Steinbeck's novel garnered a negative response from a variety of other sources. Burton Rascoe of Newsweek called Grapes of Wrath a "mess of silly propaganda, superficial observation, careless infidelity to the proper use of idiom, tasteless pornographical and scatagorical talk."

Despite the prevalence of these glaringly critical responses, most other negative thoughts were on Steinbeck's literary technique, writing style, or characterization. Coupled with almost every one of these negative responses, was the reviewer's insistence that this novel was a great and important one.

Writing for the New York Times Book Review, Peter Monro Jack qualifies his criticisms about plot structure: "All this is true enough but the real truth is that Steinbeck has written a novel from the depth's of his heart with a sincerity seldom equaled. It may be an exaggeration, but it is the exaggeration of an honest and splendid writer."

While provoking criticism from various groups for the book's message, and various reviewers for technical aspects, The Grapes of Wrath captured the popularity of the American public, securing it as one of the best "protest" novels of all time.

Peter Monro Jack, New York Times; Edward Weeks, Atlantic, Booklist; J.H. Jackson, Books; E.B. Garside, Boston Transcript; Earle Birney, Canadian Forum; Art Kuhl, Catholic World; L.A.S., Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Open Shelf; J.N. Vaughan, Commonweal; M.L. Elting, Forum; Wilfrid Gibson, Manchester Guardian; Louis Kronenberger, Nation; Malcolm Cowley, New Republic; Anthony West, New Statesman and Nation; Clifton Fadiman, New Yorker; Charles Angoff, North America, Pratt; George Stevens, Saturday review of Literature; J.H. Caskey, Saturday review of Literature; Kate O'Brien, Spec, Springfield Republican; Leon Whipple, Survey G; Time, Times [London] Literature Supplement, Wis Lib Bull (abr); Ralph Thompson, Yale Review; Burton Rascoe, Newsweek; Philip Rahv, Partisan Review; Rev. Arthur D. Spearman, Albany Times-Union; London Times; Westbrook Pegler; Raymond Calpper; Frank J. Taylor, Forum; Collier





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1939 The Grapes Of Wrath By John Steinbeck - Published By Collier


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