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Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck, 1902-1968.
The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Viking, 1939.

Steinbeck brilliantly captured the lives of the Depression-era migrant workers in The Grapes of Wrath. Combining anger at social injustice with empathy for a single family struggling against poverty, Steinbeck forced readers to confront the injustices faced by the rural poor.


Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck, 1902-1968.
The Grapes of Wrath; with lithographs by Thomas Hart Benton. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1940.

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) was the leading American Regionalist artist of the first half of the twentieth century. His affinity for portraying the common man made him a good match for Steinbeck's story of social injustice and family strength.


John Steinbeck, 1902-1968.
The Grapes of Wrath. New York: The Modern Library 1941.

The Modern Library reprinted popular literary works in uniform, inexpensive, but well-bound editions. From 1920 until 1946, all books were priced at ninety-five cents. Their success continued until the rise of the paperback in the 1960s.


Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck, 1902-1968.
The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Editions for the Armed Services. Council on Books in Wartime, circa 1945.

The Armed Services Editions introduced thousands of American soldiers to both popular and classic literature. Between 1943 and 1947, nearly 123 million copies of 1,322 titles were distributed free to U. S. Armed Forces around the world.


Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck, 1902-1968.
The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Bantam Books, 1945.

Just as Uncle Tom's Cabin had influenced the debate on slavery before the Civil War, The Grapes of Wrath brought the plight of the migrant worker to a mass audience. Many inexpensive editions, such as this Bantam Books edition, were published.


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