Speaking From the Heart

Captain’s Log  4,449

Speaking of my favorite book in the entire world….this is what others have thought of it through time.

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

  • Burned by the East St. Louis, IL Public Library (1939) and barred from the Buffalo, NY Public Library (1939) on the grounds that “vulgar words” were used. Banned in Kansas City,  MO (1939).
  • Banned in Kern County CA, the scene of Steinbeck’s novel (1939).
  • Banned in  Ireland (1953).
  • On Feb. 21, 1973, eleven Turkish book publishers went on trial before an  Istanbul martial law tribunal on charges of publishing, possessing and selling books in  violation of an order of the Istanbul martial law command. They faced possible sentences of  between one month’s and six months’ imprisonment “for spreading propaganda unfavorable to  the state” and the confiscation of their books. Eight booksellers were also on trial with  the publishers on the same charge involving The Grapes of Wrath.
  • Banned in Kanawha, IA High  School classes (1980).
  • Challenged in Vernon Verona Sherill, NY School District (1980). 
  • Challenged as required reading for Richford, VT (1981) High School English students due to  the book’s language and portrayal of a former minister who recounts how he took advantage  of a young woman.
  • Banned in Morris, Manitoba, Canada (1982).
  • Removed from two Anniston,  Ala. high school libraries (1982), but later reinstated on a restrictive basis.
  • Challenged  at the Cummings High School in Burlington, NC (1986) as an optional reading assignment  because the “book is full of filth. My son is being raised in a Christian home and this book takes the Lord’s name in vain and has all kinds of profanity in it.” Although the  parent spoke to the press, a formal complaint with the school demanding the book’s removal  was not filed.
  • Challenged at the Moore County school system in Carthage, NC (1986) because  the book contains the phase “God damn.”
  • Challenged in the Greenville, SC schools (1991)  because the book uses the name of God and Jesus in a “vain and profane manner along with  inappropriate sexual references.”
  • Challenged in the Union City, TN High School  classes (1993).

There you have it.  People all over the map up in arms over a book that simply told the truth.

Michelle Obama told the truth the other night.  Big time.  I was never more proud to be a Democrat.  What a classy lady who truly “gets” what the political shit is all about.  Love her.  Love her kids.  Love her husband.  They truly understand the “us” in USA.  That means all of us.  Not just the rich us.


When’s my next day off?  Not that I’m counting or anything.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

14 responses to “Speaking From the Heart

  1. To date I don’t think I’ve ever read The Grapes of Wrath – didn’t even see the movie until a couple of years ago. I was put off by Steinbeck’s style in the Red Pony so much that I just never wanted to read anything else he wrote. I wasn’t offended by it – just didn’t enjoy it.

    Maybe I’ll dig it up yet and read it.

  2. I really admire that woman.

  3. Michelle could easily become the next Hillary. She rocks! Love her. Bill Clinton hit it out of the park last night. He took the Republican platform and systematically dismantled it, point by point. Inspiring speech. Heavy on the facts and light on the bullshit.

  4. I heard that Tom Sawyer was banned in many schools due to the racial words…..whatever. When our children can be exposed to nudity, profanity and told that smoking and drinking are what “real people do” in movies and on television….I don’t understand why words in a book are so horrifying. I have picked up books that I won’t read due to the graphic language or content….but I make my own choices. Thank goodness I am allowed to do that.

  5. susanna

    My Dad had my sister who is the brainyack in our family read The Grapes of Wrath when she was in 8th grade. I was probably riding my bike or climbing something. Yes, Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton were great!

  6. I read The Grapes of Wrath as an adult. One of my unwritten jobs at that time was supplying my dad with reading material, and I gave him the book, warning him that it was depressing. Remember, he was in New England, but he had lived through those years.

    He agreed that it was depressing, at the start and still at the end. He was, nevertheless, glad he read it. (Getting books for my dad was almost as rewarding as teaching my kids to read. I wish he had lived to experience the internet. He would have loved it.)

    Oh, yeah — I wanted to mention that I thought Michelle Obama was terrific. I enjoyed Bill Clinton’s speech last night too.

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