A Russian Journal by John SteinbeckA Russian Journal by John Steinbeck

A Russian Journal

byJohn SteinbeckIntroduction bySusan ShillinglawPhotographed byRobert Capa

Paperback | December 1, 1999

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Steinbeck and Capa’s account of their journey through Cold War Russia is a classic piece of reportage and travel writing.


Just after the Iron Curtain fell on Eastern Europe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck and acclaimed war photographer Robert Capa ventured into the Soviet Union to report for the New York Herald Tribune. This rare opportunity took the famous travelers not only to Moscow and Stalingrad – now Volgograd – but through the countryside of the Ukraine and the Caucasus. Hailed by the New York Times as "superb" when it first appeared in 1948, A Russian Journal is the distillation of their journey and remains a remarkable memoir and unique historical document.

What they saw and movingly recorded in words and on film was what Steinbeck called "the great other side there … the private life of the Russian people." Unlike other Western reporting about Russia at the time, A Russian Journal is free of ideological obsessions. Rather, Steinbeck and Capa recorded the grim realities of factory workers, government clerks, and peasants, as they emerged from the rubble of World War II—represented here in Capa’s stirring photographs alongside Steinbeck’s masterful prose. Through it all, we are given intimate glimpses of two artists at the height of their powers, answering their need to document human struggle. This edition features an introduction by Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw.


For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses un...
Title:A Russian JournalFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 7.75 × 5.07 × 0.5 inPublished:December 1, 1999Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0141180196

ISBN - 13:9780141180199

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Table of Contents

A Russian Journal - John Steinbeck Photographs by Robert Capa and Introduction by Susan Shillinglaw

Suggestions for Further Reading


From Our Editors

First published in 1948, A Russian Journal is John Steinbeck and photographer Robert Capa’s distilled document of a land undergoing enormous change. Travelling through Moscow, Kiev, Stalingrad and also the Ukrainian and Caucasus countryside, the New York Herald Tribune reporter and staff photographer crept under the Iron Curtain to record evidence of a world where factory workers and peasants alike faced a grim future with pride and nobility.