The Harvest Gypsies

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

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

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

In 1938, the feature-story articles were published as the pamphlet Their Blood Is Strong, by the Simon J. Lubin Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Americans about the socio-economic plight of the migrant worker. The pamphlet included the seven articles, plus Steinbeck's new epilogue "Starvation Under the Orange Trees" and twenty-two photographs of the migrant workers, by Dorothea Lange;[2][3] ten thousand copies of Their Blood Is Strong were sold at twenty-five cents each.[4]