The Grapes of Wrath continues to influence readers and inspire student discussions, even though the history it addresses is far in the past. It is still one of the most widely read novels in both high school and college classrooms. The novel has even continued to prompt further research: just recently, the Steinbeck Institute commissioned researchers to trace the path of the Joads. They reported that little has changed -- a traveler who sets out from Oklahoma and heads for California is met with wide expanses and difficult terrain, much the same landscape that the Joads encountered. In more ways than one, The Grapes of Wrath is timeless.