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Not Steinbeck's best, but worthy of big fans' attention
on September 22, 2004
Although overall this book is clearly inferior to some of Steinbeck's other works of nonfiction, it has its high points and is worthwhile for big fans. If you are not already familiar with Steinbeck's nonfiction, I suggest you read A Russian Journal, Travels with Charley in Search of America and Once There Was A War before buying this book.
Among the best pieces in this book are "I Am A Revolutionary," "The Soul and Guts of France" and "Terrorism." Aside from these three pieces - and a paragraph or two scattered here and there among some of the others - this book consists of fairly slow, relatively uninteresting and disappointingly uninsightful text. Still, it's Steinbeck, and if you've a big fan, then reading even his mediocre work is more fun than most things you could be doing with your time. Otherwise though, if you have a mere passing interest in Steinbeck or have not read the other works mentioned above, then either read his other material first or just forget about this book altogether.