A magnificent volume of short novels and an essential World War II report from one of America's great twentieth-century writers
On the heels of the enormous success of his masterwork The Grapes of Wrath-and at the height of the American war effort-John Steinbeck, one of the most prolific and influential literary figures of his generation, wrote Bombs Away, a nonfiction acc...more
A few months after America entered WW II, the United States Army Air Force asked Steinbeck to aid the war effort by writing a report to help recruit airmen. Published in 1942, “Bombs Away” the result of this endeavor, is much more than typical army recruiting propaganda. Instead, Steinbeck produced a chronicle documenting the real life of a bomber crew based on a conglomerate of all the men he talked to during his research. Th...more
A page from the book was on display in a vitrine and I was immediately struck by Steinbeck's simple, direct prose. His words were like rivits holding pieces of metal together: perfectly positioned, aggressively applied, just large enough and just numerous...more
Written in 1942, Bombs Away is a promotional piece for the airforce. It idealizes and glamorizes the work of the bombing squadron, in part as a recruitment effort. The insightful introduction by James H. Meredith contrasts Steinbeck's glorification of American teamwork and the collective man (a familiar trope in Steinbeck) to Hemingway's...more
It is a very detailed account of the training process for all the members of a bomber team, including pilot, crew chief, gunners, bombardier, and navigator. This information is of course dated to the early 1940's, so...more
A magnificent volume of short novels and an essential World War II report from one of America's great twentieth-century writersOn the heels of the enormous success of his masterwork The Grapes of Wrath-and at the height of the American war effort-John Steinbeck, one of the most prolific and influential literary figures of his generation, wrote Bombs Away, a nonfiction account of his experiences with U.S. Army Air Force bomber crews during World War II. Now, for the first time since its original...more
Bombs Away is also propaganda but is it intentionally misleading or simply extended hyperbole intended to help Americans understand what it took to use the Flying Fortresses (B-1...more
"Because they are healthy young men they will like girls very well indeed. Because their co-ordination and sense of timing and rhythm is acute, they will generally be good dancers and will like to dance."
- From the chapter 'The Bomber'
I instantly am disgusted at the introduction of our bombardier. His depiction of the wholesome and assumed correctness of his upbringing is vomit inducing.
I enjoyed the descriptions of what the men had to go through, but not the descriptions of thes...more
In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley...more