The Southwest was Paradise Lost. California was Paradise Regained, an alter-Eden. From rutted, dustblown land outside Tulsa, Little Rock, and Topeka, California appeared epic and opulent: orange groves, vineyards, an eternal now of seasonless calm. Just to dig your heels into El Centro, into Bakersfield soil could change your life, turn your luck.
News & Stories
What happened when The Grapes of Wrath came out
March 30, 1989
San Diego State's Jackson Benson – John Steinbeck's defender
“I sat there for 30 minutes. No one helped. Finally, some guy comes along in a pickup, Confederate flags all over the windshield. He stops, gets out, says, ‘Let me see if I can help you.’"
John Steinbeck was my father
"I begin to see that this [U.S. involvement in Vietnam] was not cool, and I shared that with my father and we had a parting of the way. But not for long. He came around."
What Okie migrants in California said
The camps published weekly newspapers — Migratory Clipper, Pea Pickers Prairie, The Tow Sack Tattler. Beneath the disclaimer, “Neither the Farm Security Administration, nor its employees accept ‘Editorial Responsibility,’ the papers were written and edited by the migrants and typed onto stencils and mimeographed.