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The article examines the fortunes of Steinbeck's works in East European countries as they were in the grip of communist rule and as they are since the change in the political systems. In their struggle for working-class uniformity, these countries constituted an eager market for class-conscious works. Evaluated through an ideological lens, the sole value of literary works was seen to reside in their utility to oppressive political regimes. Given Steinbeck's international reputation in the 1940s and 1950s as an ardent advocate for the downtrodden, the writer inadvertently served as a political tool against the social order of capitalism. His works that largely conformed to the communist regime's ideology were critically acclaimed and widely translated, whereas several others were unjustifiably marginalized or consigned to oblivion.