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When John Steinbecks novel The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939 it caused an uproar in this nation The inside cover of the novel states It electrified an America still convalescing ideas that many people were at the least uncomfortable with this electlicity caused the Kern County Board of Supervisors to ban the book in the countys public schools and libraries on August 22 1939 The Grapes of Wrath was mostly set in Kern County California and illustrated the corporate landowners cruelty towards the exploited agricultural workers These agricultural workers were usually derogatorily called Okies because most of them had migrated from Oklahoma Others came from Arkansas Kansas and New Mexico After the years of drought in the area that became known as the Dust Bowl and after they were thrown off their land these farmers moved to California to start a new life hoping to own their land However their luck was not as large as their hope and many were left homeless and unemployed According to Steinbecks novel this was because the California landowners barely paid the workers enough to live on Apparently this offended some of Kern Countys citizens especially the Associated Farmers of Kern County They completely supported the Board of Supervisors resolution that stated the novel misrepresented conditions in the county and the whole San Joaquin Valley and blamed the local farmers for the plight of the indigent farmers The group also solicited other organizations in the valley for support WB Camp a prominent rancher of the time and president of the Associated Farmers said that his organization would fight to remove the smear on the good name of Kern the state of California and agriculture Despite the denials of those who felt they were falsely portrayed by Steinbeck there are those who were there that say it is true When asked by Kathi Durham on March 9 1981 if Steinbecks portayal of the treatment of
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