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C.” the more brainwashed and “tolerant” our people become), and in this, I think Steinbeck does a superb job.Aesthetically, I must note that the photographs splattered throughout my copy (published in October 1968) are way too dark and difficult to see. If it is legitimate enough to consider the nation in middle third of the nineteenth century under the moniker (1932), as author Bernard De Voto did, then it seems no less reasonable to consider the years from the Depression to the Great Society through the lens of Steinbeck’s writings.
Reading this book will give you a sense of what such a jump might be like.
Steinbeck wrote this work at one of the peaks of our nation’s racial struggles (other peaks being the height of slavery, the Emancipation, and the violent troubles we’re currently seeing throughout many states today), and he reconfirms what he had previously written in (published in 1962), that he loves “the negroes” and that it’s about time we all got along.
The anthology moves us toward a fuller consideration of Steinbeck’s centrality to at least the first part of this mid-twentieth-century period.
Not surprisingly, Steinbeck’s work in the 1930s and 1940s gets most of the contributors’ attention, including co-editor Zirakzadeh’s provocative discussion of Steinbeck as a “revolutionary conservative or a conservative revolutionary,” Donna Kornhaber’s treatment of politics and Steinbeck’s playwriting, Adrienne Akins Warfeld’s examination of Steinbeck’s Mexican works from the 1940s, Charles Williams’ insightful exploration of Steinbeck’s “group man” theory in as novel, film, and inspiration for Bruce Springsteen, and Mimi R. Meredith’s “Patriotic Ironies,” on Steinbeck’s wartime service.
What kind of over-obsession with entertainment and sex was even possible in the days prior to the internet and smart phones? the man would probably renounce his citizenship, were he still alive today to see what America has become.
Naturally, we’ve all watched the slow, day-to-day disintegration of family values and overall morality in our society, but imagine jumping from 1966 to 2015 to see the how far we’ve gone (or better stated, “how far-gone we’ve become”).I hope they’ve figured out a way to improve them for newer editions. Stow identifies an ambivalence about nation, government, community, and individualism that characterizes Steinbeck’s works, confounds his critics, and helps explain both their consternation and the enduring popularity of his work among readers outside of the academy.Steinbeck may not be read much in the academy, but he remains widely read outside of it.His deep and abiding dedication to the betterment of humanity and the nurturing of human relations through his art is too literally and literarily low brow for most of the arbiters of the cannon.It is a nicely edited and integrated set of explorations of the nuances and complications of Steinbeck’s political thought and a quite effective response to the generations of critics who have found Steinbeck’s work too popular, heroic, sentimental, moralistic, and too didactic.Indeed, whether the tensions in Steinbeck’s four decades’ of writing are between the group man and the individual, or traditionalism and liberalism, communism and capitalism, or alienation and affirmation (from the nation), it is these very sets of seeming contradictions and their accompanying ambiguities and consequent ambivalence that characterize Steinbeck’s literary work and political thought and help account for his continuing relevance. We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your visiting., I think I had already picked up a strong sense of what encapsulated this great American author’s passions and worldview.In placing Steinbeck’s “productive ambivalence” (9) at center stage, this companion to the intersections of Steinbeck’s literary and political journeys wisely nudges us toward a fuller appreciation of the writer and his work. See Elaine Steinbeck and Robert Wallsten’s collection John Steinbeck: A Life in Letters, (Viking, 1975; Penguin, 1989) and Jackson Benson’s finely detailed biography, John Steinbeck, Writer (New York: Penguin, 1990, and Viking, 1984).__________ David Wrobel holds the Merrick Chair in Western American History at the University of Oklahoma.