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The Famous Nameless Farmers

In The Travel Habit, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by AmarLeave a Comment

Agee’s main purpose in writing Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and the other volumes in his series (Three Tenant Families) was to create a comprehensive and immersive narrative of the human existence experienced by white cotton farmers in Alabama. This was incredibly marketable, it was previously unimaginable to most readers of the New York magazine from which he had …

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Hope and Dignity, can you survive without the carbs?

In The Travel Habit, Photo-Text books by AmarLeave a Comment

“These people are not hand-picked failures. They are the human materials cruelly dislocated by the processes of human erosion. They have been scattered like the shavings from a clean-cutting plane, or like the dust of their farms, literally blown out.” – American Studies at the University of Virginia online In the 1930s, times were a’changing, and no one knew what …

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The Day the Pharaoh Became White

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (1) by AmarLeave a Comment

In Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family is moving from Oklahoma to California. The fourteenth chapter marks an interesting transition between the death of Grandpa Joad and the start of Ma and Al’s story. It is a short, philosophical speech describing the great changes sweeping across America, and the great unnecessary panic it caused. Steinbeck is emphatic that mankind …

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A Mockery of the American Dream

In The Travel Habit, West (1) by Amar1 Comment

Nathanael West’s piece, A Cool Million, is best described as a satire of the American dream. Using the backdrop of the 1930s, Lem’s struggles escalate with infuriating intensity as he is both cheated and robbed countlessly. At first, the young Vermonter appears foolish due to a lack of education or rural upbringing, but Lem also makes the mistake of seeing …

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The Power of Optimism and Hope

In The Travel Habit, Travel Fiction by AmarLeave a Comment

In Woody Guthrie’s Bound for Glory, he describes his journey from Texas to California, mostly hitch hiking, walking, and riding trains. A young man, he follows a letter from his Aunt Laura, sending for him and promising him some form of employment in Sonora. As a young man, Woody embarks on this journey naïve and optimistic, and lands himself in …

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Communism Is Impossible When Those With Dough Won’t Share

In The Travel Habit, Writers on the Road (2) by AmarLeave a Comment

When the stock market crashed in 1929, America fell into an economic slump that failed to spurn new jobs and the environment suffered as a result of rampant, overzealous abuse of its resources. These conditions created a dichotomy between the labor and the educated classes, and class warfare and Marxism became important themes of society in the 1930s. When Lauren …

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The Power of Numb Observation

In The Travel Habit, Kromer by Amar1 Comment

Waiting for Nothing. What a book.   In the first chapter, Kromer premeditates striking a man with a heavy stick to rob him, then loses the nerve to follow through. It is a particularly interesting first impression Kromer makes in his book of vignettes, where he wonders aloud “Can’t a guy watch another guy eat chicken?” and introduces you to …