American Exodus by James N. Gregory
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American Exodus
By James N. Gregory

American Exodus

The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California

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Format: Paperback

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American Exodus by James N. Gregory

Book Awards

  • Winner of OAH Ray Allen Billington Prize 1991.

Book Description

Fifty years ago, John Steinbeck's now classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, captured the epic story of an Oklahoma farm family driven west to California by dust storms, drought, and economic hardship. It was a story that generations of Americans have also come to know through Dorothea Lange's unforgettable photos of migrant families struggling to make a living in Depression-torn California. Now in James N. Gregory's pathbreaking American Exodus, there is at last an historical study that moves beyond the fiction and the photographs to uncover the full meaning of these events. American Exodus takes us back to the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and the war boom influx of the 1940s to explore the experiences of the more than one million Oklahomans, Arkansans, Texans, and Missourians who sought opportunities in California. Gregory reaches into the migrants' lives to reveal not only their economic trials but also their impact on California's culture and society. He traces the development of an "Okie subculture" that over the years has grown into an essential element in California's cultural landscape. The consequences, however, reach far beyond California. The Dust Bowl migration was part of a larger heartland diaspora that has sent millions of Southerners and rural Midwesterners to the nation's northern and western industrial perimeter. American Exodus is the first book to examine the cultural implications of that massive 20th-century population shift. In this rich account of the experiences and impact of these migrant heartlanders, Gregory fills an important gap in recent American social history.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195071368
ISBN-10: 0195071360
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 135mm x 19mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 5-Sep-1991
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author James N. Gregory

I, Candidate for Governor by James N. Gregory I, Candidate for Governor, Paperback (December 1994)

Presents an account of the 1934 election campaign that turned California upside down and almost won journalist Upton Sinclair the governor's mansion. This title tells the story of Sinclair's campaign while also capturing the turbulent political mood of the 1930s.

» View all books by James N. Gregory


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Author Biography - James N. Gregory

James N. Gregory is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.

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I, Candidate for Governor by James N. Gregory
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