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»Inverted Jenny«

#1773 // February 27, 1979 // Salinas, CA
Literary Arts Series
John Steinbeck
US American Novelist
(* Feb 27, 1902, Salinas,CA, † Dec 20, 1968, NYC)

Pulitzer Prize Winner in 1940 for his novel
"The Grapes of Wrath" (1939)
Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962

John Steinbeck's novel
"The Grapes of Wrath"
tells of a journey during the
"Great Depression"
in the "dirty" 1930s when Route 66 became
the"Road to Opportunity" for hundreds of
thousands of Americans migrating West
looking for better lives.

John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939) is set in the Great Depression and describes a family of sharecroppers, the Joads, who were driven from their land due to the dust storms of the infamous Dust Bowl in Oklahoma. The phenomenon was caused by severe drought combined with farming methods that did not include crop rotation, fallow fields, cover crops, soil terracing and wind-breaking trees to prevent wind erosion. Millions of acres of farmland were damaged, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes; many of these families (often known as "Okies", since so many came from Oklahoma) migrated on Route 66 to California and other states, where they found economic conditions little better than those they had left, due to the Great Depression. Owning no land, many became migrant workers who traveled from farm to farm to pick fruit and other crops at starvation wages.

A farmer and his two sons during a dust storm in Cimarron County, OK in 1936
Photo: Arthur Rothstein


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