Understanding The Grapes of Wrath: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents


When The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939, it had an explosive effect on the public, calling attention to the problems of migrant farm workers during the Great Depression. This casebook provides a rich source of primary materials on the period and the plight of the migrant farm worker that brings to life the problems Steinbeck immortalized in the novel. Included are interviews with eyewitnesses to the Dust Bowl, firsthand accounts and investigative reports of the causes and effects of the Great Depression, letters, diaries and autobiographies of migrant farm workers in the 1930s, newspaper articles and editorials of the period, affidavits by union activists, and other unique materials, many of which have never before appeared in print. All these materials can be used in literature, American history, and interdisciplinary classes to enrich the study of this novel and its times.