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No Room in Donald Trump’s Inn for Arts and Humanities

In 1965 John Steinbeck was a member of President Johnson's council on the arts when Johnson signed legislation creating the National Endowment for the Arts, the federal agency charged with “bringing the arts to all Americans” and “providing leadership in arts education." Steinbeck died before efforts in Congress to kill the infant agency got underway, in earnest, in 1981. … [Read More...]

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Truth or Twitter? Why Donald Trump Is No John Steinbeck

Donald Trump bragged that someone once called him the Ernest Hemingway of Twitter. Unfortunately for us, the new president possesses neither the courage nor the … [Read More...]

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The Hour of the Pearl: John Steinbeck’s America and the Election of Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s upcoming presidential inauguration is seen by many as ushering in a bizarre and unprecedented era, not only for Americans, but also for citizens of … [Read More...]

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John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Stephen King’s Alternate History of America

John Steinbeck wasn't a fan of science fiction, but Stephen King, the reigning master of the form, is a fan of Steinbeck and his books, including Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck’s 1937 novella about George and Lennie plays a particularly important role in 11/22/63, … [Read More...]

Passed On: John Steinbeck’s Affinity for the Visual Arts

John Steinbeck not only liked being painted, he liked artists and had a deep affinity for the visual arts. For much of his life he counted artists among his most trusted friends. His appreciation for the visual arts, and the needs of working artists, started … [Read More...]

Paul Newman’s Of Mice and Men: Steve Hauk’s True Story

Now and then I wonder what Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men would have looked like staged by Paul Newman, how it would have felt. Would George have taken on a swagger? Would Curley’s wife have been even sexier? Newman after all had a way with exotic characters, … [Read More...]

In Dubious Battle Motion Picture by James Franco, Steinbeck Fan, Premieres

Movie reviews, like book reviews, sometimes influence audience behavior. But as John Steinbeck proved, loyal fans often ignore reviews if they really like an author or an actor. When James Franco’s motion picture adaptation of In Dubious Battle is released in … [Read More...]