Gone with the Wind

Townhall.com George Will June 25, 2006

Confined to her bed in Atlanta by a broken ankle and arthritis, her husband gave her a stack of blank paper and said, “Write a book.” Did she ever.

The novel’s first title became its last words, “Tomorrow Is Another Day,” and at first she named the protagonist Pansy. But Pansy became Scarlett, and the title of the book published 70 years ago this week became “Gone With the Wind.”

You might think that John Steinbeck, not Margaret Mitchell, was the emblematic novelist of the 1930s, and that the publishing event in American fiction in that difficult decade was his “The Grapes of Wrath.” Published in 1939, it captured the Depression experience that many Americans had, and that many more lived in fear of. Steinbeck’s novel became a great movie and by now 14 million copies of the book have been sold.

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