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Book details
  • SubGenre:Literary Figures
  • Language:English
  • Pages:185
  • eBook ISBN:9780990718185

The FBI Files on John Steinbeck

by Thomas Fensch

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Ever since the 1939 publication of John Steinbeck's epic "The Grapes of Wrath," J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI were convinced Steinbeck was a communist. The FBI followed him for the rest of his life --the FBI files on Steinbeck grew and grew ---even after his death. During his life time, Steinbeck knew that the FBI was following him, but could not prove it. Eventually the FBI files were declassified and proved Steinbeck right-- the FBI had followed him for years--for no real reasons at all, just as Hoover's FBI followed many other notable Americans -and without cause.
When John Steinbeck published "The Grapes of Wrath"in 1939- -- it generated a whirlwind of controversy . Some -- including J.Edgar Hoover and his FBI - -believed Steinbeck was a communist. The FBI files, many meaningless, cost Steinbeck a commission as an officer in the Army during World War Two. By the 1940s, John Steinbeck believed the FBI was following him --but he could not prove it --during his lifetime. FBI documents de-classified after Steinbeck's death, proved Steinbeck right--the FBI had been following him for aears- -without any real cause. J.Edgar Hoover's denials of an investigation of Steinbeck were, at the very least, disingenuous, at worst, an outright lie. This book contains many pages of actual FBI documents.
About the author
Thomas Fensch has an international reputation in John Steinbeck scholarship, He has published five books about Steinbeck and has lectured about Steinbeck in the U.S. and Japan. Fensch is the author of over 30 books of nonfiction, has a doctorate from Syracuse University and lives outside Richmond, Va.