“AMONG STEINBECK’S BEST NOVELS”: FIRST EDITION OF IN DUBIOUS BATTLE
STEINBECK, John. In Dubious Battle. New York: Covici Friede, (1936). Octavo, original orange cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
First trade edition of Steinbeck’s fourth novel, published at the height of the Great Depression and hailed as “the best strike and labor novel to come out of our contemporary economic and social unrest” (New York Times), in scarce dust jacket. A beautiful copy.
“Among Steinbeck’s best novels, the least known is probably In Dubious Battle… It furnishes a handle by which one can grasp the larger intentions of Steinbeck’s work” (New York Times Book Review). Steinbeck’s fourth novel, this was the first of his to examine the lives of migrant workers. On publication it was praised as “one of the most courageous and desperately honest books that has appeared in a long time. It is also, both dramatically and realistically, the best strike and labor novel to come out of our contemporary economic and social unrest” (New York Times). “Considered one of the great strike novels of the Depression years, In Dubious Battle has as its setting Watsonville, California, only a few miles from Salinas and the home of [Steinbeck’s] sister, Esther Rodgers. It was awarded the Commonwealth Club of California Medal for 1936” (Salinas, 23). In October 2008, the New York Times asked President Barack Obama to provide a list of books and writers that were significant to him; In Dubious Battle was one of the president’s selections. Preceded only by the signed limited edition of 99 copies. Goldstone & Payne A5b.
An exceptionally fine copy.