'This book is brutal. I wanted to be merely a recording consciousness,' Steinbeck said of In Dubious Battle, which aroused immense controversy when first published in 1936. It follows the fortunes of Jim Nolan, disenfranchised and alone, his family destroyed by the system. Desperate to find his place in the world, Jim joins the Communist Party and becomes entangled in a strike of migrant workers which spirals out of control, unflinchingly detailing the apocalyptic violence that breaks out when the masses become the mob. This fast-paced, compelling novel is at once a brilliant observation of social and political turmoil and a moving story of a young man's struggle for identity. In Dubious Battle explores and dramatises many of the ideas and themes key to Steinbeck's writing.