Upton Sinclair

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Sinclair, Upton

(Upton Beall Sinclair), 1878–1968, American novelist and socialist activist, b. Baltimore, grad. College of the City of New York, 1897. He was one of the muckrakersmuckrakers,
name applied to American journalists, novelists, and critics who in the first decade of the 20th cent. attempted to expose the abuses of business and the corruption in politics.
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, and a dedication to social and industrial reform underlies most of his writing. The Jungle (1906), a brutally graphic novel of the Chicago stockyards, aroused great public indignation and led to reform of federal food inspection laws. With the money earned from that novel, Sinclair established (1906) a short-lived socialist community, Helicon Home Colony, at Englewood, N.J., and a decade later he moved to Southern California. Among Sinclair's other novels exposing social evils are King Coal (1917), Oil! (1927), Boston (on the Sacco-Vanzetti CaseSacco-Vanzetti Case
. On Apr. 15, 1920, a paymaster for a shoe company in South Braintree, Mass., and his guard were shot and killed by two men who escaped with over $15,000. It was thought from reports of witnesses that the murderers were Italians.
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, 1928), and Little Steel (1938). In his social studies, such as The Brass Check (1919), on journalism, and The Goose-Step (1923), on education, he tried to uncover the harmful effects of capitalist economic pressure on institutions of learning and culture.

An ardent socialist, Sinclair was in and out of the American Socialist party and, under its aegis, ran unsuccessfully for congressman, senator, and governor. In 1934 he was again defeated, this time as the Democratic party's candidate for California governor. World's End (1940) is the first of a cycle of 11 novels that deal with world events since 1914 and feature the fictional Lanny Budd as hero; the third, Dragon's Teeth (1942), won a Pulitzer Prize. Many of Sinclair's more than 90 books have been widely translated.


See his autobiography (1962) and reminiscences, American Outpost (1932) and My Lifetime in Letters (1960); biographies by L. Harris (1975), A. Arthur (2006), and K. Mattson (2006); studies by F. Dell (1927, repr. 1970), A. Blinderman, ed. (1975), J. A. Yoder (1975), W. A. Bloodworth, Jr. (1977), and R. N. Mookerjee (1988); bibliography by R. Gottesman (1973).

References in periodicals archive ?
1) It is likely that Upton Sinclair means Over the Hill to the Poorhouse (Millarde 1920).
The objective of The Jungle, according to Upton Sinclair, was to expose the harsh, inhumane working conditions in the meat packing industry.
What would Charles Dickens or Upton Sinclair say about today's score-obsessed classrooms?
But perhaps that was just a skirmish, and what Gore is doing with this film is fighting a guerilla war, using a delicious quote from Upton Sinclair as his weapon of Bush destruction: 'It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it'.
The meat industry was unregulated, and the only person with the stomach to look closely at the resulting product was Upton Sinclair, muckraker extraordinaire.
In 1906, Upton Sinclair published The Jungle, exposing the dangerous and unsanitary conditions of meatpacking plants.
John Ross, who reports from Mexico for us again this month, won the 2005 Upton Sinclair Award from the South Bay chapter of the ACLU.
Novelist/political commentator Upton Sinclair may best be known for his flaming critiques of the Chicago meatpacking industry in "The Jungle"; but he's equally notorious in California for his harsh critiques of Southern California's culture and excesses.
Around the same time, the Japanese could browse through the Japanese translations of the latest novels by Ernest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair and John Dos Passos at their local bookstores.
I'm talking about the agitators down through history, not just those who wrote the documents of democracy--the Constitution, the Bill of Rights--but those who democratized those documents: Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglas, the abolitionists and the suffragists, the populists and the Wobblies, Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair, Mother Jones and Woody Guthrie, John L.
When socialist Upton Sinclair published The Jungle, he hoped to revolutionize America's masses, not its food regulators.