American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California

By James N. Gregory | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

THIS BOOK IS ABOUT MIGRATION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. IT IS ABOUT PEOPLE remaking their lives and remaking society in new locations. In many ways, the process of writing the book has echoed its subject. It has been a long journey -- lonely in some stretches. But the experience has not really been as solitary as it seemed. Many kind and generous people have assisted along the way, and if this book proves valuable, it is in no small measure because of them.

My thanks begin with those who made the research possible. Among the many librarians who helped, the staff at Bancroft Library, Christy Gavin at California State College, Bakersfield, and Nina Caspari at Bakersfield Public Library deserve special mention. My deepest gratitude goes to Walter Goldschmidt for sharing his personal files with me, including the field notes from his 1941 San Joaquin Valley research. Gerald Haslam graciously allowed me to examine the materials he has compiled, and Margo McBane and Tom Norris were equally generous with their collections of taped interviews. Sharon and Jack Goldsmith and Tod Moquist not only made it possible for me to use the California Odyssey oral history collection but also followed my suggestions for some of the interview questions. Most generous of all were the two dozen individuals who shared their personal stories and often their living rooms with me. Their names appear in the notes. Here, I want to add my sincere thanks.

-ix-

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American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Part I - Migration and Resettlement 1
  • 1 - Out of the Heartland 3
  • 2 - The Limits of Opportunity 36
  • 3 - The Okie Problem 78
  • 4 - The Dilemma of Outsiders 114
  • Part II - The Okie Subculture 137
  • 5 - Plain-Folk Americanism 139
  • 6 - Up from the Dust 172
  • 7 - Special to God 191
  • 8 - The Language of a Subculture 222
  • Appendix A - Public Use Microdata Samples 249
  • Appendix B - Southwesterners in California Subregions 1935, 1940, 1950, 1970 250
  • Appendix C - Occupation and Income 1940-1970 252
  • Appendix D - Marriage Survey: Sources and Methodology 254
  • Abbreviations 255
  • Notes 257
  • Index 327
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