My high-school-aged son was recently struggling through Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. To him the book is dry and boring. To me it is a great American novel. I tried to explain to him that Steinbeck uses historical fiction to describe the conditions that lead large groups of people to confront choices about life and death, revolution and starvation, humiliation and protest, one family member over another. My son is looking for action and intrigue. Steinbeck tells a story that is riveting because the event that is the backdrop of the story held the potential for yet another American rebellion. Had things played out differently my son might have been riveted by a very different version of that story. But it certainly leads back to the same question. Under what conditions would you join a rebellious movement? One of the Okies could have answered that.