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The FBI Files on John Steinbeck



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The FBI Files on John Steinbeck

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J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI denied that they had ever investigated novelist John Steinbeck, yet for decades the FBI maintained a file on Steinbeck, which included the recommendation by the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Branch (G-2) that Steinbeck was unfit to be commissioned as an officer in the Armed Forces during World War Two. (Despite the evaluations by the California G-2 agent-in-charge that Steinbeck did have the honesty, loyalty and integrity to be an officer in the Armed Forces....) The FBi files on Steinbeck include vague references to communist tendencies, the fact that the communist press approved of "The Grapes of Wrath" -- and some other Steinbeck novels -- the fact that he had read the communist newspaper "The Daily Worker," notations of the fact that Steinbeck's second wife had once registered to vote as a communist and, even later, critiques by the FBI of the character of police officers in Steinbeck's 1961 novel, "The Winter of Our Discontent." John Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962, yet the FBI files show a pattern of distrust and guilt by innuendo. J. Edgar Hoover's denials of an investigation of Steinbeck were, at the very least disingenuous, at worst, an outright lie.
Release date NZ
December 20th, 2002
Edited by Thomas Fensch
Country of Publication
United States
black & white illustrations
New Century Books
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