The Grapes of Wrath is the Oakies' saga. It is John Ernst Steinbeck's longest novel (619 pages) and more ambitious than all his others combined (Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, Of Mice and Men, et al.). The publishers believe it is "perhaps the greatest modern American novel, perhaps the greatest single creative work this country has ever produced." It is not. But it is Steinbeck's best novel, i.e., his toughest and tenderest, his roughest written and most mellifluous, his most realistic and, in its ending, his most melodramatic, his angriest and most idyllic. It is "great" in the way that Uncle Tom's Cabin was great—because it is inspired propaganda, half tract, half human-interest story, emotionalizing a great theme.