Steinbeck Bibliography
General Criticism
Beegel, Susan F., and Susan Shillinglaw, ed.  Steinbeck and the Environment:
          Interdisciplinary Approaches. 
Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1997.
          Transcribes the papers delivered at the conference “Steinbeck and the Environment,”
           which was held in May 1992.  Divided into five parts: “Origins,” “
The Grapes of Wrath,”
ea of Cortez,” “Later Works,” and “Overviews.”  Comiles nineteen essays by scholars in
           American literature, philosophy, history, feminist theory, environmental studies, social and
           physical sciences, and marine biology with a focus on Steinbeck’s environmental perspective. 
           Includes an introduction divided into three parts: Tiffney’s “A Scientist’s Perspective,”
           Shillinglaw’s “A Steinbeck Scholar’s Perspective,” and Beegel’s “A Generalist’s Perspective.” 

Buitenhuis, Peter.  “The Interventionist Propaganda of Archibald MacLeish, Robert E.
          Sherwood, and John Steinbeck.” 
Canadian Review of American Studies 26.1
          (1996): 1-30.

          Discusses how MacLeish, Sherwood, and Steinbeck became agents of propaganda for
          the United States government.  Begins by describing President Roosevelt’s decision to
          use liberal internationalists to turn public opinion so the U.S. could aid the Allies.  Offers a
          detailed summary of
The Moon is Down and asserts that the novel/play is a clear example
          of propaganda.  Reports that Roosevelt persuaded Steinbeck to write Bombs Away, even
          though he was reluctant to do so.  States that all three writers sacrificed the quality of their
           work because they believed the survival of democracy was more important.

Chabot, C. Barry. Writers for the Nation: American Literary Modernism. Tuscaloosa:
           U of Alabama P, 1997.

          Studies American literary modernism in the years between the world wars.  Focuses on
          the works of Willa Cather, Van Wyck Brooks, T. S. Eliot, Allen Tate, Wallace Stevens,
          and Harlem Renaissance writers.  The chapter “The Thirties and the Failure of the Future”
          discusses writers who were influenced by that decade.  Compares
Of Mice and Men and
     The Grapes of Wrath to other proletarian and revolutionary novels.  States that Steinbeck
          looked to the future for solutions while his contemporaries looked to the past.

DeMott, Robert J. Steinbeck’s Typewriter: Essays on His Art. Troy, NY: Whitson, 1997.
          Collects and revises nine of DeMott’s essays on Steinbeck.  Is considered to be the third
          volume in DeMott’s Steinbeck trilogy, which also includes
Steinbeck’s Reading (1984)
Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989).  Part One, “Creative
          Reading/Creative Writing,” contains three essays emphasizing the importance of Steinbeck’s
          reading to his writing.  Part Two, “Negotiating Texts,” contains three essays on the writing
          and reception of three of his novels.  Part Three, “Interior Dimensions,” includes three
          essays that deal with three different off-beat topics.  Part Four is a bibliography of books
          by and about Steinbeck.

Ditsky, John.  “‘We Are Cain’s Children’: Towards a Newer Testament.”  South
          Dakota Review
35.2 (1997): 47-59.
          Observes the changes in the way Steinbeck uses the theme of betrayal of brotherhood
          throughout his writing career.  Proposes that his use of the Cain figure developed into the
          use of a Judas figure until, in
Winter of Our Discontent, Ethan Allen Hawley comes to
          contain both Cain and Abel, both Jesus and Judas.  States that Steinbeck saw the Cain
          sign not as a curse but as a mark of protection and a promise.

  - - -. “Cannery Row: Passageway in the Heart.” 
Steinbeck Newsletter 12.1 (1999): 5-8.
          Argues that Cannery Row as a metaphor affects all of Steinbeck’s writing by grounding
          it in the here-and-now.  Demonstrates that all of his works “bespeaks a willingness to
          prefer a passionate enjoyment to the aggressive ambition to own for the sake of owning.”

Gilbert, James N.  “The Influence of John Steinbeck on American Social and Criminal
Platte Valley Review 24.1 (1996): 89-99.
          Examines the use of social and criminal justice in
The Grapes of Wrath, In Dubious Battle,
The Long Valley, and East of Eden and asserts that the novels’ great popularity had
          significant potential to influence public opinion.  Claims that, with the publication of
          Dubious Battle
, public attention to crime shifted from organized gangsters to corrupt
          government officials.  Notes the reaction the president and prominent politicians had to
          Grapes and their promises to reform legislation.  Proposes that
Eden caused 1950’s
          America to contemplate inherent criminality versus environmental criminality.

Gray, James.  “John Steinbeck.”  American Writers: Selected Authors.  Vol. 3.  Ed.
          Leonard A. Unger and Walter Litz.  New York: Scribner, 1998.  1185-1208.

          Offers a brief biography and overview of Steinbeck’s major works.  States that all of his
          works celebrate the worth of man and can be examined on many different levels.  Looks
          at Steinbeck as storyteller in
The Grapes of Wrath and In Dubious Battle. Discusses his
          technical skills used in
East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, and The Red Pony and his skill as
          a myth maker in
To a God Unknown, Tortilla Flat, Burning Bright, and The Pearl.  Praises
          his power of description and ability to create a total environment, and confronts early
          criticism that dismisses Steinbeck as being too sentimental.

Heavilin, Barbara.  “Judge, Observer, Prophet: The American Cain and Steinbeck’s
          Shifting Perspective.” 
South Dakota Review 34.2 (1996): 192-206.
          Compares the treatment of good and evil in
Travels with Charley in Search of America
The Grapes of Wrath to their treatment in America and Americans and East of Eden. 
          Contends that Steinbeck approaches
Travels and Grapes as a judge and, therefore, the Cain
          figures (“The Cheerleaders” in
Travels and the bankers and landowners in Grapes) are written
          as unredeemable.  States that his approach as an observer in
America and Eden allows good
          to come from evil in the Cain figures (“The American” in
America and Cal in Eden). Declares
          that Steinbeck took on a prophetic voice in
The Winter of Our Discontent, which allows good
          and evil to intermix so that the strength of Cain combines with the goodness of Abel in Ethan.  
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General Criticism Continued