Brent's Reviews > In Dubious Battle

In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
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's review
Jan 17, 09

Read in January, 2009

"In Dubious Battle" is a great book, one that is sure to make you angry and sad while reading it. Steinbeck does a great job of showing both sides of the labor battle, while making one side as good and the other as bad, but still showing both sides to be manipulative. The book follows the character of Jim along, as he joins the "party" and eventually accompanies Mac into apple picking country to organize a strike. The bulk of the book's philosophy is expunged in conversations between Jim, Mac, and Dr. Burton.

Steinbeck takes a sociological perspective of labor unions, specifically at mob mentality. This borders on ecological, as man is described as an animal that does not always understand what he does, or can control it, nor predict it. Steinbeck is a master at portraying the common man, and keeping the book exciting even when you can guess how it will play out.
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