The last piece of published writing from one of America's greatest writers was a series of letters he sent back from the front lines of war at the age of 64.
John Steinbeck's reports shocked readers and family so much that they've never been reprinted - until now.
Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 for a life's work writing about those who had been roughed up by history - most notably his Depression-era novels, Of Mice And Men and The Grapes of Wrath . Four years later, Steinbeck left for Vietnam to cover the war firsthand.
His dispatches appeared in Newsday in 1966 and 1967 and are now collected in a volume called Steinbeck in Vietnam: Dispatches from the War .
University of Toledo professor Thomas E. Barden curated the collection. He tells Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon that Steinbeck's public support for the Vietnam War was too much for fans to accept - a reaction so overwhelming that the letters were kept out of public view for years...