America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction

America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction


Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780142437414
  • 448 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


More than four 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 distinctive 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 fifty of Steinbeck’s finest essays and journalistic pieces on Salinas, Sag Harbor, Arthur Miller, Woody Guthrie, the Vietnam War and more. This edition is edited by Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw and Steinbeck biographer Jackson J. Benson.
America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction

America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction

John Steinbeck, Editor: Jackson J. Benson, Editor: Susan Shillinglaw


“A feast of good reading.” —Jay Parini, Los Angeles Times

“Captures Steinbeck’s fierce and unrelenting moral vision, while providing an intriguing glimpse of the writer’s life and work.” —Chicago Tribune

Table of Contents


 Places of the Heart 1
 Always Something to Do in Salinas 4
 The Golden Handcuff 13
 A Primer on the ’30s 17
 Making of a New Yorker 32
 My War with the Ospreys 41
 Conversation at Sag Harbor 50


 Engaged Artist 65
 Dubious Battle in California 71
 The Harvest Gypsies: Squatters’ Camps 78
 Starvation Under the Orange Trees 83
 From Writers Take Sides 88
 I Am a Revolutionary 89
 Duel Without Pistols 91
 The Trial of Arthur Miller 101
 Atque Vale 105
 Dear Adlai 108
 G.O.P. Delegates Have Bigger, Better Badges 110
 L’Envoi 112


 Occasional Pieces 117
 Then My Arm Glassed Up 125
 On Fishing 132
 Circus 136
 Random Thoughts on Random Dogs 139
 … like captured fireflies 142
 The Joan in All of Us 144
 A Model T Named “It” 147


 On Writing 151
 The Play-Novelette 155
 My Short Novels 158
 Rationale 161
 Critics-from a Writer’s Viewpoint 163
 Some Random and Randy Thoughts on Books 167
 Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech 172

 Friends 175
 From About Ed Ricketts 179
 Ernie Pyle 213
 Tom Collins 215
 Robert Capa 217
 Adlai Stevenson 219
 Henry Fonda 223
 Woody Guthrie 225


 Journalist Abroad 227
 The Soul and Guts of France 233
 One American in Paris (fourth piece) 246
 One American in Paris (thirteenth piece) 248
 Positano 251
 Florence: The Explosion of the Chariot 259
 I Go Back to Ireland 262
 The Ghost of Anthony Daly 270


 War Correspondent 275
 Troopship 282
 Waiting 285
 Stories of the Blitz 288
 Lilli Marlene 291
 Bob Hope 293
 Vietnam War: No Front, No Rear 296
 Action in the Delta 299
 Terrorism 304
 Puff, the Magic Dragon 307
 An Open Letter to Poet Yevtushenko 311

 America and Americans 313
 Foreword 317
 E Pluribus Unum 319
 Paradox and Dream 330
 Government of the People 339
 Created Equal 346
 Genus Americanus 354
 The Pursuit of Happiness 369
 Americans and the Land 377
 Americans and the World 383
 Americans and the Future 392
Afterword 403
Works Cited 405
Selected Bibliography of Steinbeck’s Nonfiction 407
Index 417

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