4 votes

The Grapes of Wrath, 2011

"And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed." – John Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck wrote his masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath at the age of 37 in 1939, at the tail end of the Great Depression. Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize for literature. John Ford then made a classic film adaption in 1941, starring Henry Fonda. It is considered one of the top 25 films in American history. The book was also one of the most banned in US history. Steinbeck was ridiculed as a communist and anti-capitalist by showing support for the working poor. Some things never change, as the moneyed interests that control the media message have attempted to deflect the blame for our current Depression away from their fraudulent deeds. The novel stands as a chronicle of the Great Depression and as a commentary on the economic and social system that gave rise to it. Steinbeck’s opus to the working poor reverberates across the decades. He wrote the novel in the midst of the last Fourth Turning Crisis. His themes of man’s inhumanity to man, the dignity and rage of the working class, and the selfishness and greed of the moneyed class ring true today.

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tasmlab's picture

Great book

The commentary 'vignettes' that occur between chapters are very neat, since you get to see how state-intervention economic actions manifested themselves from the bottoms-up i.e., from the view of the impoverished. Such things as spraying gasoline on oranges to keep the price up whilst people were starving (and likely needed fuel too) or forbidding people from planting food in highway medians to protect farmer wages.

You don't need to be LvM to explain the problems with that.


This is my second favorite fiction book ever. Perhaps it's time for a re-read.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

'Civil War" was not civil...

'Civil War" was not civil... Nary a wisp of Civility. Paper trading.

"Great Depression" was not great... T'was "New Management."
Paper trading.

America was bustling. Spring in her step.
How healthy Americans were... just before their money disappeared. The whole economy disappeared. Mystical.

What was the cause? Who did it? Let us ask our good doctor.

1983 - Dr. Ron Paul - CIGARETTES better than MONEY!
Submitted by Sunny

Paper as money is by force... "Legal Tender."

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

reedr3v's picture

Tour de force.


Great live version by RATM

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Now Tom said "Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy

Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight 'gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I'll be there
Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me."

Bruce Springsteen - Lyrics - The Ghost of Tom Joad

Rage Against the Machine - The Ghost of Tom Joad

Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
~ Joyce Meyer

Bruce and Tom Sing it Live Together

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