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John Steinbeck - Voice of America

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Melvyn Bragg’s homage to the great American writer rightly concentrates on Steinbeck’s masterpieces, The Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row and East of Eden. But this isn’t a trip to the library; it’s a beautifully photographed travelogue that ranges along the Joads’ dustbowl journey from Oklahoma to California, to Salinas and Monterey.

It looks so gorgeous that it is possible to take your eyes off Bragg’s windblown hair, at times. He’s perceptive in his judgements but the important voice here is Steinbeck’s, especially when pinpointing “man’s place in the American landscape”.


Melvyn Bragg examines the life of the author of The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men on a journey from Oklahoma to California. He explains how the struggles of labourers during the Great Depression inspired Steinbeck's work, and argues his depictions of people struggling to survive poverty and hardship remain relevant in modern America.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Melvyn Bragg


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