Sea of Cortez

Michael J Lannoo

in Leopold's Shack and Ricketts's Lab

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264786
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520946064 | DOI:
Sea of Cortez

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In the spring of 1939, Edward F. Ricketts's Between Pacific Tides and John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath were published. Steinbeck was getting a lot of unwanted publicity, especially from conservative politicians and groups such as the Associated Farmers. He was shaken by assertions that he had exaggerated the plight of the Okies, and by being ostracized by Californians, especially former friends. During the fall and winter of 1939–1940, Steinbeck spent a lot of time in the Pacific Biological Laboratories helping Ricketts, learning marine biology, and preparing for field trips. Ricketts and Steinbeck decided to collaborate on a pair of projects. The first arose from a request by Stanford University Press that Ricketts write a book on San Francisco Bay invertebrates. And Steinbeck had been considering a trip to Mexico, which morphed into the second project, a collecting expedition in the Sea of Cortés (Gulf of California). Steinbeck hired the seventy-six-foot Western Flyer, owned and captained by Tony Berry. Ricketts and Steinbeck's collaboration resulted in Sea of Cortez, published by Viking on December 5, 1941.

Keywords: Edward F. Ricketts; Between Pacific Tides; John Steinbeck; Grapes of Wrath; Stanford University Press; San Francisco Bay; invertebrates; Mexico; Sea of Cortez; expedition

Chapter.  3460 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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