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IN DUBIOUS BATTLE

A. SAXTON
Pacific Historical Review
Vol. 73, No. 2 (May 2004), pp. 249-262
DOI: 10.1525/phr.2004.73.2.249
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/phr.2004.73.2.249
Page Count: 14
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IN DUBIOUS BATTLE
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Abstract

Revised from an address in Santa Cruz (2002) commemorating the John Steinbeck centennial, this essay focuses on Steinbeck's views on race and class as expressed in his writings on agricultural labor in California, especially In Dubious Battle and The Grapes of Wrath. Grapes of Wrath, which played an important part in rallying support for the New Deal program of Social Security, is described as a "supreme portrayal of Great Depression America" and Steinbeck's �nest novel. Steinbeck's work is linked to that of his predecessor, Edward Bellamy, author of Looking Backward. Both writers are presented as belonging to a tradition of "humane and humanist radicalism" in American culture and politics that reaches back at least as far as Tom Paine and Frances Wright.

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