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In Dubious Battle
Author/Editor: John Steinbeck
ISBN: 0140186417
Year Published: 1992
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, Audio 
Description: Reissued in 1992.
"In Dubious Battle" is basically the first of Steinbeck's socially-engaged novels, in which he portrays a strike staged by itinerant fruit-pickers against price-cutting orchard owners. This is hardly a pamphlet for the labor movement or the Communist Party, though, as Steinbeck is less interested in pontificating than showing the frustations of the workers and the toll that their resistence actually takes on them and the local community. It also shows the organizational difficulties involved in getting a diverse group of dissatisfied workers to work for a common cause. The characterization is vivid and brilliant. Aside from its obvious literary value, this novel also has historical value, for like Sinclair's "The Jungle" (although with greater realism and much less pathos) it provides a powerful description of the plight of working people in America earlier in the 20th century. "In Dubious Battle" gives readers a good idea of the type of courage it took, and still does take, to fight for positive change and social justice.