The Grapes of Wrath

It was this very book that started my fascination with the USA, the Vietnam war was in full swing, there were demonstrations at the US Embassy in London and I was still at school in my mid teens full of emotion, confusion and not a little anger at how life was for the world. Communism, the Cold War, Violent terrorism and far away wars in places that really didn’t seem to deserve what was being done to them. Someone handed me a copy and I devoured it. It covered a period perhaps only 20 or so years previously to where we currently were, a nation that had wealth, technology beyond imagination and the most incredible country. I was bitten with a bug to explore this place one day. 30 + odd years later the opportunity arose to follow in the tyre tracks of the Joad family. And so we did, not on the Interstate but wherever possible the 2 lane highway that led from Chicago to LA . Now every year since that original trip we’ve taken another route, West to East, North to South, you name it we’ve done it, every state except Hawaii and the one that’s beyond Canada somewhere. And you know what? Apart from technological advancement America has hardly progressed one bit from the place it was when Steinbeck wrote this book, it’s still a country of false hopes, broken dreams and unspeakable suffering run by people who have no idea what they do , I still return on a regular basis to connect with the land and the people that make it a good country who are by and large the ordinary folk. It is an incredible place, just hasn’t grown up and realised the responsibility of adulthood yet

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