A letter in Pulitzer Prize winning writer John Steinbeck’s FBI file. The redacted letter objects to Steinbeck’s portrayals of rural life in America, “For some time past I have resented books by Steinbeck, for they portray such unrepresenative pictures of our American life in rural districts. I live near the Everglades farms district and most of the migrants there live better than I do, while they are here for the picking season.” Because WW II caused labor shortages the government did provide some camps for migrant workers in addition to already existing private camps. many of the workers in the east and south were black. While those in the west were mostly Latino. The story of those workers and the farmers that absolutely needed them to harvest their crops, is complicated, Steinbeck’s portrayal of the plight of those workers was generally accurate. Note how current the tone sounds. Large land owners and businesses in the South still resent labor, labor laws and anyone who writes about labor conditions.
Also from Steinbeck’s FBI file, a letter from a Lt. Col. Pash in 1943 in item number 3, concerning Steinbeck’s desire to join the regular military, he writes that, “In view of the Subject’s loyalty and discretion, it is recommended that Subject not be considered favorably for a commission in the Army of the United States.”
In 1945 Steinbeck received the Haakon VII Cross of freedom for his literary contributions to the Norwegian resistance movement. While working s a World War II war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, he also worked with the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor of the CIA) – a round about way of saying he did some spy work for the government.
Playwright Eugene O’Neill in a racing Bugatti. The driveway at Chateau du Plessis, 1930. Photographer unknown. I imagine him thinking much like anyone, oh yea, take my picture while I’m in this cool new car.
“None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.” Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
Amazing story of the day, Groundbreaking Surgery for Girl Born Without Windpipe
PEORIA, Ill. — Using plastic fibers and human cells, doctors have built and implanted a windpipe in a 2 ½-year-old girl — the youngest person ever to receive a bioengineered organ.