America and Americans

America and Americans

by John Steinbeck
     
 

More than three decades after his death, John Steinbeck remains one of the nation's most beloved authors. Yet few know of his career as a journalist who covered world events from the Great Depression to Vietnam. Now, this original collection offers a portrait of the artist as citizen, deeply engaged in the world around him. In addition to the complete text of…  See more details below

Overview

More than three decades after his death, John Steinbeck remains one of the nation's most beloved authors. Yet few know of his career as a journalist who covered world events from the Great Depression to Vietnam. Now, this original collection offers a portrait of the artist as citizen, deeply engaged in the world around him. In addition to the complete text of Steinbeck's last published book, America and Americans, this volume brings together for the first time more than fifty of Steinbeck's finest essays and jouralistic pieces.

Author Biography: John Steinbeck (1902-1968) was born in Salinas, California. Universally recognized as one of the greatest American writers, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962.
Susan Shillinglaw is director of the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University.
Jackson J. Benson is the author of the acclaimed biography John Steinbeck, Writer, winner of the PEN-West USA award for nonfiction.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
February 27, 2002, marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of this great American novelist. To mark the occasion, Viking repackaged six of his fiction works and published this reconstructed book of his selected nonfiction. America and Americans includes stunning pieces about the Great Depression, crisp World War II journalism, and terse word-portraits of fellow Americans Robert Capa and Woody Guthrie.
Louisville Courier-Journal
...captures Steinbeck's fierce and unrelenting moral vision, while providing an intriguing glimpse of the writer's life and work.
These days it's high school kids who devour Steinbeck's books: Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden. It's a pity that older readers are missing out. Perhaps this collection of Steinbeck's nonfiction will help dust off his star. The book includes the author's Nobel Prize acceptance speech, recollections of friends from Woody Guthrie to Adlai Stevenson, war correspondence from the Blitz to Vietnam and elegies and celebrations of all things American. A bit constrained by topicality, this isn't the best of the man, but it gives us enough of his remarkable voice: clear, strong, colorful, careful. And it hints at the scope of his vision—an earnest one, blessedly free of the irony, convolution and cleverness that came after him. He damns all "bored and slothful cynicism" and lauds "the enormous sweetness and violence of the country." It's been too long since any American writer sounded that proud and loving note.
—Paul Evans

Publishers Weekly
Few may remember that the Nobel Prize-winning novelist pursued a parallel 30-year career in journalism, but this collection (timed to mark the centennial of Steinbeck's birth) demonstrates that the author was a major journalistic voice in the mid-20th century. Of course, the pieces vary in quality: Steinbeck's travel writing, personal recollections and political journalism are more entertaining than his essays on craft or dated dispatches from war zones, and one questions why the editors, both Steinbeck scholars, chose certain brief reports. Still, Steinbeck's humor shines through in a number of fine essays, especially in one about a visit to his Sag Harbor cottage with two teenage sons, and another on his battles (in print) with a Communist newspaper in Italy. Three reports on the plight of California's migrant workers written in the mid-1930s before Steinbeck had finished The Grapes of Wrath shed light on the novel's roots. A particularly moving essay details the author's long friendship with Ed Ricketts, the man who found his way into Steinbeck's Cannery Row and The Sea of Cortez. The last 100 pages of the collection reprints his final book, America and Americans, in which the author offers a wide-reaching commentary on the American 20th century. "Journalism not only is a respected profession, but is considered the training ground of any good American author," wrote Steinbeck in 1966. Though this statement is no longer true, the collection shows that it certainly once was. (On sale Feb. 4) Forecast: No doubt publicity around Steinbeck's centennial will help sales to new readers as well as devotees. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Just in time for the centenary of Steinbeck's birth: a reissue of his last published book and a collection of his journalism. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
February of next year is the centennial of Steinbeck's birth and, along with new Penguin editions of six of his novels, Viking is offering up this collection from the other, lesser-known, side of his career. A lifelong journalist, Steinbeck observed and commented on what he saw around him in essays, letters, and criticism; here is some of the best of it. There's war writing from England and Vietnam; reflections on his own work, including his Nobel acceptance speech; travel pieces from Italy, France, and Ireland; pieces on Henry Fonda, Adlai Stevenson, and Woody Guthrie. While Steinbeck wanders all over the world, most of the material directly addresses America, including the final section, a reprint of his last, now out-of-print book, the heartfelt America and Americans. More than his familiar, iconic fiction, this collection conveys a real sense of one of our best-and best-loved-writers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670116027
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/12/1966
Pages:
205
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 10.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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