jeremy's Reviews > The Short Reign of Pippin IV
The Short Reign of Pippin IV
in what clearly must have been an enjoyable writing experience for him, the short reign of pippin iv: a fabrication marks steinbeck's only work of political satire. with characters and a plot reminiscent of italo calvino's fiction, this short novel makes a caricature of the french revolution, and, more broadly, of politics in general. while lacking in the moral impetus so prominent in his other works, pippin may well be one of steinbeck's more humorous books.
"i've never understood america," said the king.
"neither do we, sir. you might say we have two governments, kind of overlapping. first we have the elected government. it's democratic or republican, doesn't make much difference, and then there's corporation government."
"they get along together, these governments?"
"sometimes," said tod. "i don't understand it myself. you see, the elected government pretends to be democratic, and actually it is autocratic. the corporation governments pretend to be autocratic and they're all the time accusing the others of socialism. they hate socialism."
"so i have heard," said pippin.
"well, here's the funny thing, sir. you take a big corporation in america, say like general motors or du pont or us steel. the thing they're most afraid of is socialism, and at the same time they themselves are socialist states."
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