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Bound for Glory is the partially fictionalized autobiography of folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie. The book describes Guthrie's childhood, his travels across the United States as a hobo on the railroad, and towards the end his beginning to get recognition as a singer. Some of the experiences of fruit picking and a hobo camp are similar to those described in The Grapes of Wrath.

Bound for Glory
First edition
AuthorWoody Guthrie
CountryUnited States
GenreAutobiography, Folk music
PublisherE.P. Dutton
Publication date

Originally published in 1943, it was republished with a foreword written by Studs Terkel following the 1976 film adaptation.[1][2] The book was completed with the patient editing assistance of Guthrie's wife, Marjorie, and was first published by E.P. Dutton in 1943.[3] It is told in the artist's down-home dialect, with the flair and imagery of a storyteller. Library Journal complained about the "too careful reproduction of illiterate speech."[4] But Clifton Fadiman, reviewing the book in the New York Times, said "Someday people are going to wake up to the fact that Woody Guthrie and the ten thousand songs that leap and tumble off the strings of his music box are a national possession, like Yellowstone and Yosemite, and part of the best stuff this country has to show the world."[4]

A film adaptation of Bound for Glory was released in 1976.[2]

See alsoEdit

  • The Boomtown Rats, Irish rock band, which took their name from Woody Guthrie's boyhood gang in the book.[5]


  1. ^ "Bound For Glory, 1943 - Woody Guthrie". WoodyGuthrie.Org. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Bound for Glory (1976)". IMDb page for 1976 film. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  3. ^ Bound for Glory (Unknown Binding). Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  4. ^ a b LaBorie, Tim. Woody Guthrie biography. Retrieved on January 8, 2008.
  5. ^ Boomtown Rats - Biography by William Ruhlmann at