In this Book

A Political Companion to John Steinbeck
summary

Though he was a recipient of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature, American novelist John Steinbeck (1902--1968) has frequently been censored. Even in the twenty-first century, nearly ninety years after his work first appeared in print, Steinbeck's novels, stories, and plays still generate controversy: his 1937 book Of Mice and Men was banned in some Mississippi schools in 2002, and as recently as 2009, he made the American Library Association's annual list of most frequently challenged authors. A Political Companion to John Steinbeck examines the most contentious political aspects of the author's body of work, from his early exploration of social justice and political authority during the Great Depression to his later positions regarding domestic and international threats to American policies. Featuring contemporaneous and present-day interpretations of his novels and essays by historians, literary scholars, and political theorists, this book covers the spectrum of Steinbeck's writing, exploring everything from his place in American political culture to his seeming betrayal of his leftist principles in later years.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Quotes
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Series Foreword
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Prologue: John Steinbeck in the 1930s: Living Under the Gun
  2. pp. 12-18
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  1. Introduction: The Dangerous Ambivalence of John Steinbeck
  2. pp. 19-27
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  1. Part I
  2. pp. 28-29
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  1. Chapter 1. Revolutionary Conservative, Conservative Revolutionary? John Steinbeck and The Grapes of Wrath
  2. pp. 30-59
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  1. Chapter 2. Star Signals: John Steinbeck in the American Protest Literature Tradition
  2. pp. 60-87
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  1. Chapter 3. The Novelist as Playwright: Adaptation, Politics, and the Plays of John Steinbeck
  2. pp. 88-108
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  1. Chapter 4. Steinbeck and the Tragedy of Progress
  2. pp. 109-127
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  1. Part II
  2. pp. 128-129
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  1. Chapter 5. Group Man and the Limits of Working-Class Politics: The Political Vision of Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle
  2. pp. 130-156
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  1. Chapter 6. The Indifference of Nature and the Cruelty of Wealth
  2. pp. 157-181
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  1. Chapter 7. "The Technique of Building Worlds": Exodian Nation Formation in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath
  2. pp. 182-199
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  1. Part III
  2. pp. 200-201
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  1. Chapter 8. Focusing on the Migrant: The Contextualization of Dorothea Lange's Photographs of the John Steinbeck Committee
  2. pp. 202-237
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  1. Chapter 9. Participatory Parables: Cinema, Social Action, and Steinbeck's Mexican Dilemma
  2. pp. 238-257
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  1. Chapter 10. "Not Afraid of Being Heroic": Bruce Springsteen's John Steinbeck
  2. pp. 258-278
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  1. Chapter 11. Retelling an American Political Tale: A Comparison of Literary, Cinematic, and Musical Versions of The Grapes of Wrath
  2. pp. 279-301
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  1. Part IV
  2. pp. 302-303
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  1. Chapter 12. Patriotic Ironies: John Steinbeck's Wartime Service to His Country
  2. pp. 304-321
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  1. Chapter 13. John Steinbeck's Shifting View of America: From Travels with Charley to America and Americans
  2. pp. 322-335
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  1. Chapter 14. "Can You Honestly Love a Dishonest Thing?" The Tragic Patriotism of The Winter of Our Discontent
  2. pp. 336-359
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 360-363
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 364-367
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 368-371
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 372-373
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  1. Series Page
  2. pp. 374-385
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