August 2 - August 3
The annual Steinbeck Festival is a literary celebration of John Steinbeck’s enduring legacy. The Steinbeck Festival has taken place for the last 38 years in and around Salinas. The Festival is a dynamic, spirited, and challenging exploration through talks, films, performances, and exhibits. It is open to the public and intended to instruct, entertain, and connect like-minded Steinbeck lovers and newbies.
The 2019 Steinbeck Festival, “In Search of America” revisits John Steinbeck’s 1962 book, Travels with Charley and invites participants to reflect on American culture and identity.
Each year the Festival explores a new theme relating to the life and works of Salinas native, John Steinbeck.
The 2019 Festival will be held on August 2nd and 3rd, 2019.
Friday evening, August 2nd, 2019
PRESENTATION: Did Americans Ever Get Along?
Zócalo Public Square
“From the first we have treated our minorities abominably, the way the old boys do the new kids in school,” Steinbeck wrote in “E Pluribus Unum,” an essay in America and the Americans. American identity, the author argued, was forged through this cruel process of hazing the newest, and that once any ethnic group became established, it would pick on the newly arriving group. “It occurs to me,” he wrote, “that this very cruelty toward newcomers might go far to explain the speed with which the ethnic and national strangers merged with the ‘Americans.’” Steinbeck’s view of America calls for us to understand the conflicts that created our nation. How does a country made up of so many different people ultimately cohere? Does America deserve its reputation for being welcoming to immigrants? And do America’s fissures and divisions ever completely go away? Leading scholars of American history and identity visit Zócalo to examine the enduring tensions between the pluribus and the unum.
Saturday, all day, August 3rd, 2019
Directions & Parking