Features Jim Nolan, disenfranchised and alone, his family destroyed by the system. Desperate to find his place in the world, Jim joins the Communist Party and becomes entangled in a strike of migrant workers which spirals out of control, unflinchingly detailing the apocalyptic violence that breaks out when the masses become the mob.
Both a fast-paced story of social unrest and strike, and the tale of one young man's struggle for identity, In Dubious Battle is a novel about the apocalyptic violence that breaks out when the masses become the mob. Set in California apple country, a strike by migrant workers spirals out of control, as principled defiance turns into blind fanaticism. Caught in this upheaval is Jim Nolan, a once aimless man who finds himself briefly becoming the leader of the strike before being crushed in its service. In Dubious Battle explores and dramatises many of the ideas and themes key to Steinbeck's writing.
Nobel-Prize winning author John Steinbeck is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. His complete works will be available in Penguin Modern Classics
A far cry from Tortilla Flat, with none of the originality and sardonic humor of that delightful book. But this qualifies for recognition on the score of being much-better-than-average proletarian novel (of which there are chiefly below average books). The setting is a fruit growing district in California - the story revolves around the deliberate and almost fanatical machinations of red agents to foment discontent and to organize strikes. It is extraordinary how Steinbeck succeeds in swinging the sympathy with the agent and his young apprentice, in building understanding of the methods employed, of showing how the side of convention twists and distorts facts and creates false evidence, establishing disturbance where there was simply quiet and grim determination. Almost one grows to accept the inevitability of eliminating the human equation. A book for those interested in Left Wing literature - and those concerned with new trends. (Kirkus Reviews)
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