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April 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the first Viking hardcover publication of Steinbecks crowning literary achievement
First published in 1939, Steinbecks Pulitzer Prizewinning 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 mans fierce reaction to injustice, and of one womans stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes the very nature of equality and justice in America. As Don DeLillo has claimed, Steinbeck shaped a geography of conscience with this novel where there is something at stake in every sentence. Beyond thatfor emotional urgency, evocative power, sustained impact, prophetic reach, and continued controversyThe Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics.
To commemorate the book's 75th anniversary, thisvolume is modeled on the first edition, featuring the original cover illustration by Elmer Hader and specially designed endpapers by Michael Schwab.