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Früchte des Zorns

Joad Family Album, 1938 (Horace Bristol)

In the winter of 1937-38, photographer Horace Bristol and writer John Steinbeck teamed up for a Life magazine assignment and for nearly two months traveled California interviewing migrant workers of the Great Central Valley. Before finishing the project, however, Steinbeck withdrew—deciding to utilize the research for his novel The Grapes of Wrath instead of an article for Life.  When Steinbeck’s book was published in 1939, Life ran an article featuring the photographs taken by Bristol. Rather than using the real names of those photographed, Life used the fictional names of Steinbeck’s characters with captions featuring excerpts from The Grapes of Wrath—thus creating a photo album for the fictional Joad family that has since been mistaken for reality…

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