Jackson: A Dust Bowl Migrant
, Oklahoma to California, 1935.
Shindo, Dust Bowl Migrants
in the American Imagination (Lawrence: The University Press of Kansas, 1997).
The same year, 1939, the author elaborated in a letter that his goal in writing the book was "to rip a reader's nerves to rags" by laying bare the life of the Dust Bowl migrants
with whom he had spent time.
But CC became a local hero in racially divided Delano, whose population, then and now, was a rich oleo of dust bowl migrants
; Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants; a few Russians; and a small handful of African- Americans.
He will uproot himself long enough to spend time in the California region where Grapes of Wrath was set, listening to stories of Dust Bowl migrants
and recent immigrants from Mexico, and seeing how the groups1 migration stories connect in the fields.
Especially noteworthy is an account of actual Dust Bowl migrants
' responses to the novel.
Shindo published Dust Bowl Migrants
in the American Imagination, which includes analysis of Woody Guthrie's work along with that of John Ford and John Steinbeck.
The Grapes of Wrath did hang over my shoulder as I read the first 25 or 30 pages of Whose Names Are Unknown and thought, "This is kind of slow." Steinbeck's novel, dramatic and sentimental, has become the iconic saga of the Dust Bowl migrants
, but the reader should persevere until Babb's intimate and powerful story of the Dunnes and their community takes over.
Out west in California, Dust Bowl migrants
Buck Owens and Merle Haggard mixed Hank-style hard-luck lyrics with muscular rock rhythms and some honky-tonk twang to create the Bakersfield sound.
Like Woody Guthrie's songs about dust bowl migrants
, it spins the experience of the poor into troubling questions.
(13.) This short Guthrie biography is drawn from Klein, Woody Guthrie, 1-186; Guy Logsdon, "Woody," in Woody Guthrie, Woody Sez (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1975), viixvii; and Charles Shindo, Dust Bowl Migrants
in the American Imagination (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997), esp.
Americans today know the Dust Bowl migrants
of the 1930s from Dorothea Lange's moving photographs and John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.