Of Mice and Men is a novel set on a ranch in the Salinas Valley in California during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was the first work to bring John Steinbeck national recognition as a writer. The title suggests that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, a reference to Robert Burns's poem "To a Mouse."
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Facts about John Steinbeck:

http://www.steinbeck.org/MainFrame.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men Study Guide: Lennie Small and his friend, George Milton, were forced to leave their homes because Lennie was accused of raping a girl from another town. The book begins with the two of them hiding from the angry townspeople. Lennie had a tendency to kill small, soft animals by accident; he was unaware of his own strength. This repeatedly leads to severe problems.
 
Of Mice and Men: Clinging to each other in their loneliness and alienation, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie dream, as drifters will, of a place to call their own.
 
Of Mice and Men Fact Sheet:Back ground to Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
 
The Migrant Experience: A complex set of interacting forces both economic and ecological brought the migrant workers documented in this ethnographic collection to California. Following World War I, a recession led to a drop in the market price of farm crops and caused Great Plains farmers to increase their productivity through mechanization and the cultivation of more land.

Migrant Workers: http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/water_06.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/dustbowl/peopleevents/pandeAMEX08.html

The Dust Bowl: The Dust Bowl of the 1930s lasted about a decade. Its primary area of impact was on the southern Plains. The northern Plains were not so badly effected, but nonetheless, the drought, windblown dust and agricultural decline were no strangers to the north. http://www.usd.edu/anth/epa/dust.html

The Dust Bowl of 1930: "Dust Bowl" was a term born in the hard times from the people who lived in the drought-stricken region during the great depression.
 
The Dust Bowl:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/dustbowl/timeline/index.html

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