Steinbeck on Radicals and Reds

“In Dubious Battle”,Mac laughed explosively. “Anybody who wants a living wage is a radical.”

“Grapes of Wrath”
Tom Joad gets work digging a ditch with Wilkie and Timothy.
When Tom asks “What the hell is these reds anyway?”
Timothy responds.
“Fella named Hines-got about thirty acres…all a time talkin’ about
them goddamn reds…well, they were a young fella jus’ come out west
here, an’ he’s listenin’ one day. He kinda scratched his head an’ he
says, Mr Hines, I ain’t been here long. What is these goddamn reds?
Well, sir, Hines says, A red is any son-of-a-bitch that wants thirty
cents an hour when we’re paying twenty-five.”

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to Amazon.com to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (wvhighlands.org), and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation (ksff.org). I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at martinjul@aol.com or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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