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Route 66: The Grapes of Wrath

Take a trip down Route 66 with this research guide

The Movie

The grapes of wrathThe Grapes of Wrath was controversial as a book and as a film because of the social commentary and the depictions of the police. The book's popularity led to a bidding war among the major studios to acquire the movie rights, which was eventually won by Fox.  The Library has the 2004 20th Century Fox "Studio Classic" edition. It is DVD 676.

Below is a trailer, courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.

Grapes of Wrath trailer

The Book

It was John Steinbeck, in his immortal book, The Grapes of Wrath,  who called Route 66 "The Mother Road." Here are some books about Steinbeck's classic work.

The Music

Tom Joad was the main character in The Grapes of Wrath, and Henry Fonda portrayed him in the movie. A song about the fictional character, The Song of Tom Joad, has become a music classic. Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello played it at the 2009 Rock and Rock Hall of Fame concert.

The Photograph

Dorthea LangeThe Migrant Mother, along with The Grapes of Wrath, personifies the Great Depression for many Americans. It was taken by Dorothea Lange for the US Farm Security Administration in February or March 1936. The woman was Florence Owens Thompson, and Lange's original caption was "Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California." Read more about the image from The Library of Congress.

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