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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 21 reviews
on May 1, 2016
Excellent book to have with you. Short stories that tell you the life and times of our fellow Americans then and there by a great writer. Light and easy reading, the spaces between words are just right, mild to the eyes, made of light, nice paper. Arrive quickly and in very good packaging. Another highly recommendable book is Speak Tagalog, A Basic Primer by Juanita de Guzman Gutierrez on sale at Amazon. You'll learn to speak Tagalog in an easy and quick way on your own time schedule wherever and whenever. Four children books that will make your budding readers a star reader on sale at Amazon by Gutierrez are The Blessed One, The Just One, Full of Grace, Chosen You Forever. Enjoy these books all at your fingertips at Amazon.
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on March 21, 2012
After reading just one novel by Steinbeck, I decided to see what he was like as a journalist. For me, this wide-ranging collection of observations, opinions, and witticisms reached its zenith with two back-to-back essays: "The Trial of Arthur Miller", in which Steinbeck parses the repugnant moral choices that his fellow writer faced when commanded to testify before Congress during the Communist witch hunt; and "Atque Vale", in which he very cleverly skewers the buffoons and bigots of the early civil rights era by examining the walk-on-water standards they set for "Negroes" in order to trip them up. Steinbeck is never better than when he is quietly seething; his fusillade of sarcasm proves highly effective.

In "America and Americans", which comprises the last quarter of this collection, there are some very interesting musings on the qualities, characteristics, and contributions of various immigrant groups; the contradictions of the American mindset (the hunger for home roots vs. our nomadic existence, for example); and a variety of spot-on sociological observations about our relationship to the land, with our leaders, foreigners, and one another. A&A ends with a positive note about the future, keyed to Americans' innate drive and optimism - a morale booster for some of us during our current trying times.

There's enough red meat in this book so you can pick and choose titles and close the cover with a feeling of fulfillment. Steinbeck was one gifted writer and an extremely opinionated man. And that's a satisfying one-two punch.
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on July 29, 2007
Its present lackluster era notwithstanding, America still commands the world's attention and arouses curiosity. No matter how much we read about the country, how frequently we visit there, even live there for years, we have the nagging feeling that we do not understand its true essence. And that is not for want of pertinent information. The mass of available statistical data is beyond imagination. So is the daily, weekly and monthly output by journalists. There is no lack of in-depth analyses by eminent economists, sociologists and political scientists. And yet, it is hard to distill from all of the above an essence that speaks to me, the common everyday man. I am a native of Germany who spent most of his life in Brazil. I have always had a deep interest in American literature and have done my best to get a good glimpse of it, but even that is not an easy job. Whereas the name of John Steinbeck is fully familiar, I had always associated him with his California novels. Only recently did I take an opportunity to look at his postwar production and felt immediately attracted by the title 'America and Americans'. I certainly was not disappointed. The book offers in rich measure what is so hard to come by, the human aspect, offered in understandable, indeed beautiful language, by an unusually lucid observer. Even though the country and its society have changed dramatically over the forty years since the date it was published, the book looses nothing of its informative value. It provides a picture of a point in time, and tells of the values of that time. That is an excellent backdrop to contemplate the present moment and reflect on future options.
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on March 14, 2015
Most of the stories are really interesting. It helps if you've read his other stuff first as many of the short stories are almost background research or related notes and commentary. If you haven't read his other stuff, you'd like it less. Worthwhile read.
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on September 18, 2014
My daughter-in-law passed this book out at Christmas and when we get together (seven of us) for Sunday dinner we've used this as our "Book Club" discussion. Wonderful read.
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on June 12, 2016
fine
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on August 21, 2012
If you enjoy Steinbeck's insight of people and places or are a history buff this is the read for you.
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on July 4, 2014
A must read; particularly if you grew up in the 50's - 90's
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on August 9, 2014
Great stories from a great American writer.
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on February 9, 2014
This was a gift for my son for Christmas. Steinbeck is one of his favorite authors so I'm sure he will enjoy it.
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