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 50 of Steinbeck's finest essays and jouralistic pieces.
©2003 The Estate of John Steinbeck (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.
The title of this book kept me from reading it for many years even though I love Steinbeck. The title suggested that the book was a vapid piece of bragging about what a wonderful place America is....well, I do not disagree that America is wonderful and great, but I did not want to hear my beloved Steinbeck doing some kind of Readers Digest puff piece on America. Wow! Was I wrong! This book is great Steinbeck writing....nothing short of his usual perceptive and feeling prose. It reminds me a bit of Travels with Charley in that this book is non-fiction and a report on the state of American and Americans during the fifties and sixties mostly, with some World War II stuff added. One or two pieces are among the last of Steinbeck's last writings....the essays on Vietnam deal with his trip to that county during the war in 1967, and Steinbeck died less than two years later. His mature, late-life writing is simply great, as indeed most of his work was from at least 1939 forward. Thank God I took a chance on this book....good Steinbeck prose is as good as any prose ever written, and there is very good stuff here. Finally, much of what he includes here is humorous, very reminiscent of some of Twain's journalism with tongue in cheek, such as his Innocents Abroad or Roughing It. Listen and enjoy! (PS...the narrator is excellent, the sound quality excellent also)
Reckless consumer of audio.
America and Americans is a still-relevant discussion of some of our culture's most important topics, and some just for fun. All of the skills of the literary master are on display here as he paints a scathing view of 20th Century America while still retaining a hopeful tone and an unrelenting faith in humanity. The Penguin collection of the works does an excellent job of contextualizing the pieces without providing too much interpretation. Henry Strozier's baritone voice lends the weight to the text that it deserves.
Highly recommended for fans of Steinbeck or thought-provoking journalism.
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