In Dubious Battle (Presentation copy)
New York: Covici Friedi, 1936.
New York: Covici Friedi, 1936. First edition. Octavo. Original orange cloth, lettering to spine in black, rules to covers and spine in red, top edge red. With dust jacket. Housed in a custom green morocco-backed folding box. An exceptionally Fine copy which is bright and crisp. Fine dust jacket with only the most trivial rubbing to extremities, otherwise extremely bright and fresh. Presentation copy inscribed by the author "For Guy G. B. Reedy, John Steinbeck" on front free endpaper. A signed limited edition was also issued by the publishers in 1936. Steinbeck met Reedy when he moved to New York in the early 1920s and both men worked on the construction of Madison Square Garden. Steinbeck left after seeing a co-worker fall to his death, but the two remained close, and Steinbeck inscribed first editions of all his books for Reedy.
Historically overshadowed by Steinbeck's towering works East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath, his later novel In Dubious Battle has seen a resurgence of scholarly interest for its depictions of race and class. In developing the novel's central structure, "Steinbeck utilized episodes from the Tagus Ranch peach strike of 1933 and a cotton strike throughout the San Joaquin Valley that October"; while he "deviated from the particulars of these labor disputes to clarify the central themes of the novel...In Dubious Battle indicates that the primary responsibility for human suffering rests on the growers, since they preside over an economic framework that limits the opportunities available to the working class" predominantly composed of people of color (Dawson). Steinbeck's emphasis on laborers unionizing to fight back against their abusers -- predominantly powerful, white men -- are concerns that continue resonating today. In Dubious Battle made its appearance on the big screen in 2017, as a film directed by James Franco.
Goldstone & Payne A5(b) Fine in Fine dust jacket. (Item #4490)