Blog post from Saturday, 28 June, 2014

Banned book, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)

First published in 1939, the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck focuses on a poor family of tenant farmers during the Great Depression. Forced out through drought and the introduction of new farming methods, the family travels with other farmers to California in search of land and a means to earn a living. Despite being awarded both the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize in the year of publication the novel has been challenged and banned numerous times for obscenity and indecency. In 1939 it was banned in Kern County, California, the setting for the novel.The County Supervisor, Stanley Abel, claimed that the book ‘offended our citizenry by falsely implying that many of our fine people were a low. Ignorant, profane and blasphemous type living in a vicious, filthy manner’.