After The Grapes of Wrath was published, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt defended the book in her writings and assured readers that Steinbeck had not exaggerated the conditions of poverty in the book.
The Grapes of Wrath is listed number 10 on Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th century, and the film adaptation ranks number 21 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Greatest American Movies.
At Steinbeck's funeral, Henry Fonda—who starred in the film version of The Grapes of Wrath—read poems by Petrarch, Tennyson and Robert Louis Stevenson.
The Grapes of Wrath has been translated into at least 43 languages.
Copies of The Grapes of Wrath were burned on the curb of the Salinas Public Library and on the sidewalk in Bakersfield California.