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Steinbeck and censorship

In 2002, Steinbeck’s centennial year, everyone in California was urged to read The Grapes of Wrath, libraries throughout the state were having programs on Steinbeck, and there was an enormous Steinbeck conference at Hofstra University. But when The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939, there was an intense effort to ban the novel and its film version and to vilify, discredit, and damage the author. Steinbeck is still one of the chief targets of censors, but in addition to attacks for political and allegedly moral reasons, he is also discredited by part of the literary establishment that wants to eliminate him from canonical literature.

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