America's Barefoot Refugees

Episodes

First
Broadcast
Comments
20051008

In the 1930s, thousands of American farmers fled the drought-ridden and depression-ravaged homelands of Oklahoma and Arkansas to what they hoped was the Eldorado of California.

What they found when they got there was exploitation and more misery, memorably chronicled by John Steinbeck in his Grapes of Wrath.

Two young academics recorded the stories and music of these all-American refugees, and in this programme we hear these first hand accounts of what has become part of America's own mythology.