Steinbeck Festival

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Steinbeck Festival

August 2, 2019 - August 3, 2019

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 SalinasThe Festival is a dynamic, spirited, and challenging exploration through talks, films, performances, and exhibits. Each year the Festival explores a new theme relating to the life and works of Salinas native, John Steinbeck. It is open to the public and intended to instruct, entertain, and connect like-minded Steinbeck lovers and newbies.

Did you attend Festival this year? We’d love your feedback. Fill out this 4 minute survey and suggest a theme for next year:

For Information about Speakers, Travel, and more fun, click here to view our full Steinbeck Festival XXXVIII page!

Event Highlights

Friday evening, August 2nd, 2019

PRESENTATION: Did Americans Ever Get Along?
Zócalo Public Square & the National Steinbeck Center
6:30 PM | Free

About The Event

“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.

Event will take place in the Salinas Room at the National Steinbeck Center. Reception to follow in the museum.

About Zócalo Public Square

Connects people to ideas and to each other by examining essential questions in an accessible, broad-minded, and democratic spirit. At a time when our country’s public sphere and our global digital conversation have become ever more polarized and segregated, Zócalo seeks to create a welcoming intellectual space and engage a new and diverse generation in the public square. We pursue our mission by convening events and by publishing ideas journalism. Because democracy is as much a culture as it is a system, we believe that creating meaningful opportunities for citizens to communicate with—and learn from—one another both nurtures and protects it


Registration for reservation holders will open at 5:30 PM on August 2nd. Tickets are distributed at registration to reservation holders on a first-come, first-served basis and only to the person(s) present at registration. Reservations do not guarantee seating. At all events, Zócalo adheres to its Code of Civility. We will release unclaimed reservations at 6:20 PM.

About the Speakers

Gregory Rodriguez, Founder and Publisher, Zócalo Public Square

Patricia Limerick, University of Colorado historian and Center of the American West faculty director

Tomas Jimenez, Stanford University sociologist

Gary Gerstle, Cambridge University historian

Learn More & Visit Zócalo’s Website

Did Americans Ever Get Along?


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