Upton Sinclair

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Upton Sinclair: Lincoln Steffens

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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
Related to this is Coodley's decision to include a very problematic appendix, "Upton Sinclair's Women Friends," a list of women with whom Sinclair interacted.
Upton Sinclair's intentions are so good," wrote Walter Lippmann, a New Republic cofounder, "his earnestness so grim, and his self-analysis so humorless....
After accepting the Upton Sinclair Award, Paris Barclay revealed his own interesting connection to the U.S.
In his 1933 biography of William Fox, Upton Sinclair offers this insight:
I've read Upton Sinclair and some of Gail Eisnitz (author of Slaughterhouse).
THERE WILL BE BLOOD LOOSELY based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil!, Paul Thomas Anderson's 2007 Oscar-winning film owes its triumph almost entirely to Daniel Day Lewis' barnstorming performance.
For example, author, activist, and civil libertarian Upton Sinclair did not win the Nobel Prize for Literature (Sinclair Lewis did).
Upton Sinclair vividly depicted factory life in Chicago in the first years of the 20th century, and the harrowing scenes he related aroused the indignation of the public and forced a government investigation that led to the passage of pure food laws.
Essay 1, "The 1920s: Workers In (and Out of) Jail" (1-8) precedes Processional, by John Howard Lawson (9-82) and Singing Jailbirds, by Upton Sinclair (83-150).
Little is made of the Upton Sinclair influence, and there is no mention of the five letters from Laxness that Sinclair published in the '60s.
"Her writing is raw and strong and vivid, with deep resounding echoes of Faulkner and Upton Sinclair. ...
12 (1882) Mary Craig Kimbrough Sinclair, author and wife of writer Upton Sinclair was born in Greenwood.