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The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to the Grapes of Wrath [Paperback]

By John Steinbeck & Charles Wollenberg (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 8.50  
Retail Value $ 10.00  
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Item Number 286482  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   64
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5.75" Height: 7.5"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Heyday Books
ISBN  1890771619  
EAN  9781890771614  

Availability  114 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 04:09.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Collects seven newspaper articles on migrant farm workers, squatters' camps and the Hoovervilles of California that the author wrote for "The San Francisco News" in 1936, providing the factual foundation for the "The Grapes of Wrath" published three years later.

Publishers Description
With the inquisitiveness of an investigative reporter and the emotional power of a novelist in his prime, Steinbeck toured the squatters' camps and Hoovervilles of California. Here he found once strong, independent farmers so reduced in dignity, sick, sullen, and defeated that they had been cast down to a kind of subhumanity. He contrasts their misery with the hope offered by government resettlement camps, where self-help communities were restoring dignity and indeed saving lives. 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. Included are twenty-two photographs by Dorothea Lange and others, many of which accompanied Steinbeck's original articles.

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More About John Steinbeck & Charles Wollenberg

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John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold(1929).
After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven(1932) andTo a God Unknown(1933), and worked on short stories later collected inThe Long Valley(1938). Popular success and financial security came only withTortilla Flat(1935), stories about Monterey s paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class: In Dubious Battle(1936), Of Mice and Men(1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath(1939).The Grapes of Wrathwon both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.
Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker withThe Forgotten Village(1941) and a serious student of marine biology withSea of Cortez(1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-noveletteThe Moon is Down(1942).Cannery Row(1945), The Wayward Bus(1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright(1950), andThe Log from the Sea of Cortez(1951) preceded publication of the monumentalEast of Eden(1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family s history.
The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely. Later books includeSweet Thursday(1954), The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication(1957), Once There Was a War(1958), The Winter of Our Discontent(1961), Travels with Charley in Search of America(1962), America and Americans(1966), and the posthumously publishedJournal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters(1969), Viva Zapata!(1975), The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights(1976), andWorking Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath(1989).
Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.
Robert DeMott, editor, is the Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor at Ohio State University and author of Steinbeck's Typewriter, an award-winning book of critical essays.


John Steinbeck was born in 1902 and died in 1968.

John Steinbeck has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Library of America
  2. Oprah's Classics Book Club Selections
  3. Penguin Audio Classics
  4. Penguin Classics
  5. Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions
  6. Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century
  7. Penguin Twentieth Century Classics
  8. Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A selection of seven articles that Steinbeck wrote in 1936  Mar 9, 2003
Readers seeking a full experience of John Steinbeck's literary style won't want to miss Harvest Gypsies, a selection of seven articles that Steinbeck wrote in 1936 about the plight of migrant farmworkers during the Dust Bowl migration. Black and white photos accompany his report on conditions and experiences, weaving a masterful selection of insights which go beyond history into personal observation.
Was It Really A Novel?  Nov 8, 2000
Were the "Grapes of Wrath" published today, it may like other recent books, have been classified as historical fiction as opposed to a novel. I am thinking specifically of "Artemisia" that was published as both in different countries. How the work is classified is not critical, as either way it is one of the finest pieces of literature that has been written, and for many people, Steinbeck's finest work.

"The Harvest Gypsies" is a collection of 7 articles that Mr. Steinbeck wrote as a journalist. All were concerned with the issues he dealt with in the resulting book. This small volume is greatly enhanced by the photographs of Dorothea Lange, and the introduction of Charles Wollenberg.

One of the people the book was dedicated to was "Tom", actually Tom Collins, who was a manager of a federal migrant labor camp in California. The lines of fact and fiction are eventually blurred with him, as Tom Collins was the model for the character of "Jim Rawley" manager of "The Wheatpatch Camp" in "The Grapes Of Wrath". Ms. Lange's photographs could have been illustrations for Mr. Steinbeck's book, for when viewing them you can pick out the faces that could have accounted for the members of Steinbeck's epic.

This is a very brief book, but it portrays the migratory farm workers lives, as being even worse, if that can be imagined. A novel always offers the ultimate refuge of being fiction; these 7 articles and their photographs take away that solace. The brutality, random murder, and disease that was rampant, and the State of California that allowed the behaviors, are atrocious. In the context of one of the writings, one of the large growers who sanctioned the killing and starvation that was part of the agriculture industry stated that, "without a peon population the economy of California could not function". Steinbeck takes this statement of arrogance and ignorance, that is routinely spoken by any exploiter, and logically demonstrates that were this indeed the case, the state could no longer exist. For were it to continue to exist with its fascist policies, the most basic of Democratic rights would have to be absented.

Milk, that played so prominent a role in the book is spoken of extensively in the articles. Many of the most painful parts of the book were so common in reality, that the book may seem mild at times.

No matter how many times you have read the book, once this collection of articles are read, the experience of the book will not only change, I believe it will be enhanced.

. . .a prerequisite to In Dubious Battle. . .  Apr 14, 1999
Three of Steinbeck's social novels--In Dubious Battle, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men--are enhanced after reading this work. This work is the prelude to three of Steinbeck's most socially poweful novels. To fully understand what Steinbeck is striving to accomplish with Battle and Wrath, and to fully round out your history/literature lesson, it is essential to understand something about the socialist movement--birth of communisim--and the general exploitation of the fruit-pickers of California. The big businesses of that day, not much different from various big businesses of today, treated employees like machines--replacing them as needed--after being hurt on unsafe equipment, etc.--without regarding their well-being, or considering the hungry mouths of their families. The Harvest Gypsies is a crutial text in the study of California before uniouns began revolting against the machine.

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