Fragment door Steinbeck in een brief naar zijn editor, Pat Covici, over zijn zoektocht naar het echte Amerika.
a sickness, a kind of wasting disease. There were wishes but no wants. And underneath it all the building energy like gases in a corpse. When that explodes, I tremble to think what will be the result. Over and over I thought we lack the pressures that make men strong and the anguish that makes men great. The pressures are debts, the desires are for more material toys and the anguish is boredom.
–Travels with Charley. Introductie door Jay Parini