Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 9:45 pm

Omnibus education bill

Filed under: America. It was a really good idea — Lex @ 9:45 pm

Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform (via ZH), in one lengthy, entertaining, sobering, frightening, instructive post, elegantly drapes post-1900 U.S. history, current affairs, economics, politics and a criminal investigation over the skeleton of John Steinbeck’s 1937 masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath.

It’ll probably take you an hour to read and absorb this piece. My advice? Go prepare your favorite adult beverage and do it. It’ll be one of the most worthwhile hours you spend all year.



  1. I am confused, though, whether he has taken large chunks from Wikipedia, or if the fine aggregators at Wiki have taken his stuff.

    Comment by Jim Langer — Saturday, March 19, 2011 11:50 pm @ 11:50 pm

  2. Good question, Jim. I’ll see if I can make some time today to look at the history of the Wiki page and determine an answer.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 20, 2011 10:01 am @ 10:01 am

  3. Steinbeck’s Dust Bowl Gnomes

    ” Allen’s most recent stink bomb was tossed into the op/ed page at the Los Angeles Times, daring to declare that John Steinbeck’s esteemed 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath—currently the focus of cloying 75th anniversary celebrations; some silly female in the Washington Post has just nominated Ma Joad for president, for example—is, as Allen writes, “peopled with robustly two-dimensional characters and dripping like an okra pod with hokey dialog, shameless sentimentality and corn-pone Marxism.”

    Leaning on the fine-tooth-comb findings of Professor James N. Gregory (who, with his Ph.D. from Berkeley, is decidedly not some pesky right-winger), Allen tears apart the alleged historical accuracy of The Grapes of Wrath (a.k.a. “a literary portrait that defined an era”).

    Contrary to Steinbeck’s libelous portrayal, real-life “Okies” were far from uniformly rural or illiterate. Over half of those who journeyed from Oklahoma to California were from towns or cities, many of them white-collar or semiskilled workers who found a life there—not in shabby, supposedly exploitive agrarian camps (where, Gregory writes, conditions were “not uniformly horrible” anyhow)—but in well-paying, far less backbreaking jobs.

    And that migration had begun even before World War I. It peaked, Gregory discovered, not in the Depression but during the economic boom of the 1940s, when countless Americans, not just Okies, rushed to get jobs in California’s World War II defense plants.

    Steinbeck had to know all this, but the facts didn’t suit his narrative.

    In that narrative, the banks are the bad guys, but some historians insist that the policies of Steinbeck’s hero, FDR, and not the banks, were what prompted the Okie exodus. (The numbers of which, naturally, Steinbeck exaggerated more than threefold; only about 90,000 individuals like the Joads made the trip, while Steinbeck put the number at 300,000.) “

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, May 10, 2014 2:46 am @ 2:46 am

  4. It. Was. A. Novel. Of course Steinbeck took liberties.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, May 10, 2014 12:59 pm @ 12:59 pm

  5. Yes, liberties ( fabulisms ) which became accepted urban legends of the left only to be busted by Kathy Shaidle

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, May 12, 2014 7:34 pm @ 7:34 pm

  6. News flash: Fictional work is fictional. Um, I’d have a hard time selling that story to an editor.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, May 13, 2014 12:12 am @ 12:12 am

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