The Harvest Gypsies

Series of articles by John Steinbeck / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Harvest Gypsies is a series of articles by John Steinbeck written on commission for The San Francisco News focusing on the lives and times of migrant workers in California's Central Valley.[1] Published daily from October 5 to 12, 1936, Steinbeck delves into the hardships and triumphs of American migrant workers during the Great Depression, tracing their paths and stories from crop to crop as they eked out a stark existence.

Drought refugees from Oklahoma camping by the roadside. They hope to work in the cotton fields. There are seven in the family. Blythe, California.
(photo by Dorothea Lange, 1936)
First edition of pamphlet

The articles were published together in 1938 as a pamphlet entitled Their Blood Is Strong by the Simon J. Lubin Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Americans about the plight of the migrant worker. This pamphlet included the seven articles, plus Steinbeck's newly written epilogue "Starvation Under the Orange Trees," and twenty-two photographs by Dorothea Lange.[2][3] Ten thousand copies of this pamphlet were sold at twenty-five cents each.[4]