Tuesday, August 02, 2011

THE GRAPES OF WRATH. Published April, 1939.

Few books have caused as big a stir as John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. A month after it wa published in April 1939, it stood as the nation's No.1 best seller. And by summer in Kern County, California-the Joads' newfound home-the book was burned publicly and banned from local schools and library shelves. The backlash to the publication of The Grapes of Wrath - a book praised by Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and seared into the public's consciousness by the lyrics of Woody Guthrie and the on-screen performanceof Henry Fonda - serves as a window into an extraordinary time when, as Steinbeck put it, there seemed to be " a revolution.. going on.'
The title of the book came "from Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" - a song beloved by Union troops during the Civil War*. Lest anyone miss the reference{Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord/ He is trampling out the vintage where the GRAPES OF WRATH are stored}..."

*CIVIL WAR - an oxymoron.
Nothing is original.


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