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The Grapes of Wrath
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The Grapes of Wrath Paperback - 2002

by John Steinbeck

Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation, "The Grapes of Wrath" is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California.


About this book

John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath stands as a pivotal piece of American literature. The story follows the Joad family (and thousands of others) as they are driven from the Oklahoma farm where they are sharecroppers during the Great Depression. The drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries send them searching for dignity and honest work in the bountiful state of California.

The novel earned Steinbeck the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1940, and inspired the classic film of the same name the same year. The film starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, and Steinbeck's words and ideas shine through that medium. In 1962, Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for the body of his work, and The Grapes of Wrath stands as his most recognized and esteemed book.
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Summary

First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads-driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.

A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America.
 
The Grapes of Wrath summed up its era in the way that Uncle Tom’s Cabin summed up the years of slavery before the Civil War. Sensitive to fascist and communist criticism, Steinbeck insisted that “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” be printed in its entirety in the first edition of the book—which takes its title from the first verse: “He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.” At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.

The Great Books Foundation Discussion Guide for The Grapes of Wrath is available at www.penguinputnam.com and at www.greatbooks.org.

 

From the publisher

The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized--and sometimes outraged--millions of readers. First published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads--driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man's fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman's stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics. This Centennial edition, specially designed to commemorate one hundred years of Steinbeck, features french flaps and deckle-edged pages. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

First Edition Identification

 The book was first published in 1939, by The Viking Press. Commonly found flaws in the first edition of this work include age tanning, rolling of the spine, and chips to the edges of the pages and boards. Signed copies of a First Edition in excellent condition can fetch over $20,000. The first UK edition was printed by William Heinemann, also in 1939. Signed First UK editions are also collectible, often sold for over $5,000 USD. 

Details

  • Title The Grapes of Wrath
  • Author John Steinbeck
  • Binding Paperback
  • Edition [ Edition: Repri
  • Pages 464
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Penguin Books, New York
  • Date 2002-01-08
  • ISBN 9780142000663 / 0142000663
  • Weight 1.1 lbs (0.50 kg)
  • Dimensions 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.3 in (21.34 x 14.48 x 3.30 cm)
  • Ages 18 to UP years
  • Grade levels 13 - UP
  • Reading level 680
  • Themes
    • Chronological Period: 1930's
    • Geographic Orientation: California
  • Library of Congress subjects Domestic fiction, California
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 2001056103
  • Dewey Decimal Code FIC

Media reviews

“Steinbeck is a poet. . . . Everything is real, everything perfect.” Upton Sinclair, Common Sense

“I think, and with earnest and honest consideration . . . that The Grapes of Wrath is the greatest American novel I have ever read." Dorothy Parker

“It seems to me as great a book as has yet come out of America.” Alexander Woollcott

About the author

John Steinbeck (1902-1968) was born in Salinas, California, and died in New York City. He remains one of the most prolific and influential authors of his generation and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.
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The Grapes of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath : (Centennial Edition)

The Grapes of Wrath : (Centennial Edition)

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The Grapes of Wrath : (Centennial Edition)

The Grapes of Wrath : (Centennial Edition)

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The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition)
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The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition)

by John Steinbeck

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