John Steinbeck

Ayatollah Khamenei asks, Can one propose establishment of a country for Blacks in US?

On the anniversary of John Steinbeck's demise, the American novelist, publishes statements from Ayatollah Khamenei on John Steinbeck and his novels:

John Steinbeck exposed US govt's brutal treatment of critics

Read the famous novel The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck or his other works—which I cannot recall, right now. Analyze what he has written about the conditions, under which the 'Lefties' lived in, and how heads from the so-called 'center of democracy' treated them. Read it, in order to realize that the 'center of democracy', the idol for those who pursue such a deplorable style of writing in Iran, could not even tolerate the Lefties, because they believed that Marxism would question the capitalist system in the United States.

Well, if they tolerated the Lefties it would have meant they agreed with them crossing redlines. If today a movement arises that chanted the slogan, "The U.S. should divide”, or that the "U.S. should divide into 49 states,” how would they be treated? If today someone rises up and proposes, that since there are about 40 or 50 million African Americans living in the United States, they should have their own country; give them a piece of the U.S. so they can establish their own government. How would the U.S. government react? Would they not do what they did to Branch Davidians and burn them all in a building?

May 02, 1996


Steinbeck was under worst types of pressure by US government in his youth

I said before that untrustworthy individuals should not be allowed to show their presence in universities. They ask me, “Who are untrustworthy individuals?” Untrustworthy individuals are those who challenge the system with any excuse. Which country allows its ruling system to be challenged by others? Does America – which they themselves claim is the center of freedom – allow this to happen? John Steinbeck, who has written several novels like “The Grapes of Wrath” and other such novels which are very well-known, was subject to the most difficult pressures. Anyone in America who used any word that reeked of socialism – not that it was really about socialism, rather if it gave off a faint smell of socialism – would become subject to all sorts of pressures ranging from physical harm to character assassination. They are like this. They do not allow their system to be challenged. Now, should we challenge our system with such and such obtuse and ridiculous excuses? A person who challenges the system with various excuses is “untrustworthy”.


Statements made in a meeting with university professors, managers and officials; June 18, 2016


Steinbeck was lured and bribed during the final years of his life

I have read in John Steinbeck’s biography—the American author who wrote "The Grapes of Wrath", and other novels—that his works during the final years of his life are different from his early novels. That is to say, when everyone was expecting him to write books with the same spirit and theme, he offered exactly the opposite! Later on, it was revealed that some corporations had lured him, bribed him to write differently. We have had similar people too; it wasn’t that no one would be like that here. We had people in the field of arts, who were so religious and such fundamentalist, that we would think to ourselves, "oh we wish we were with them!" But then, all of a sudden, they totally changed; they made a 180 degree change! We have both good artists and bad ones; we have all types. What is important is to preserve the direction that the arts pursue.


May 26, 2003