This image is the cover for the book Harvest Gypsies

Harvest Gypsies

A collection of newspaper articles about Dust Bowl migrants in California’s Central Valley by the author of The Grapes of Wrath, accompanied by photos.

Three years before his triumphant novel The Grapes of Wrath—a fictional portrayal of a Depression-era family fleeing Oklahoma during a disastrous period of drought and dust storms—John Steinbeck wrote seven articles for the San Francisco News about these history-making events and the hundreds of thousands who made their way west to work as farm laborers.

With the inquisitiveness of an investigative reporter and the emotional power of a novelist in his prime, Steinbeck toured the squatters’ camps and Hoovervilles of rural California. The Harvest Gypsies gives us an eyewitness account of the horrendous Dust Bowl migration, and provides the factual foundation for Steinbeck’s masterpiece. Included are twenty-two photographs by Dorothea Lange and others, many of which accompanied Steinbeck’s original articles.

'”Steinbeck’s potent blend of empathy and moral outrage was perfectly matched by the photographs of Dorothea Lange, who had caught the whole saga with her camera—the tents, the jalopies, the bindlestiffs, the pathos and courage of uprooted mothers and children.”—San Francisco Review of Books

“Steinbeck’s journalism shares the enduring quality of his famous novel…Certain to engage students of both American literature and labor history.”—Publishers Weekly

John Steinbeck, Charles Wollenberg

Heyday Books