We should all wish "Travels With Charley in Search of America" a happy birthday.
But whether you are young or old, overly romantic or just plain too gullible, don't be fooled into thinking that John Steinbeck's last major work is the true and honest account of the cross-country trip he and Charley made in the fall of 1960.
For half a century, we've been told and taught that "Charley" was a work of nonfiction. But it wasn't.
And over at Reason.com you can read "Whitewashing John Steinbeck," Why partisan politics and virulent racism were cut from the celebrated “non-fiction” road book Travels With Charley."
Along with detailing some of the many devious edits made to the original manuscript of "Charley" by Steinbeck's publisher, the July 25 Reason piece reveals an X-rated paragraph of filthy language that has never been made public until now.
Posts of interest:
“America Looks Good From Steinbeck’s Highway” is the last of eight print-side travel stories I wrote in 2010 for the Post-Gazette.