UPTON SINCLAIR JR. (September 20, 1878 – November 25, 1968) was an American writer who wrote nearly one hundred books and other works in several genres. Sinclair's work was well-known and popular in the first half of the twentieth century, and he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943.
In 1906, Sinclair acquired particular fame for his classic
muck-raking novel _
The Jungle _, which exposed labor and sanitary
conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry , causing a public uproar
that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906
Pure Food and Drug Act and the
Meat Inspection Act
Many of his novels can be read as historical works. Writing during the Progressive Era, Sinclair describes the world of industrialized America from both the working man's point of view and the industrialist. Novels like _ King Coal _ (1917), _ The Coal War _ (published posthumously), _ Oil! _ (1927) and _ The Flivver King _ (1937) describe the working conditions of the coal, oil and auto industries at the time.
J. P. Morgan , whom many regarded as a hero for ending
Panic of 1907 , saying that he had engineered the crisis in order
to acquire a bank. _The Flivver King_ describes the rise of Henry
Ford, his "wage reform", and the company's Sociological Department to
his decline into antisemitism as publisher of _The Dearborn
Independent _. _King Coal_ confronts John D.
Sinclair was an outspoken socialist and ran unsuccessfully for
Congress as a nominee from the
* 1 Early life and education * 2 Career * 3 Other interests * 4 Political career * 5 Personal life
* 6 Writing
* 6.1 _The Jungle_ * 6.2 _The Brass Check_ * 6.3 _Sylvia_ novels * 6.4 _I, Governor of California, and How I Ended Poverty_ * 6.5 Lanny Budd series * 6.6 Other works
* 7 Representation in popular culture * 8 Films * 9 Quotes * 10 Works * 11 See also * 12 Notes * 13 References * 14 Further reading * 15 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Sinclair was born in
As he was growing up, Upton's family moved frequently as his father
was not successful in his career. He developed a love for reading when
he was five years old. He read every book his mother owned for a
deeper understanding of the world. He did not start school until he
was ten years old. He was deficient in math and worked hard to catch
up quickly because of his embarrassment. In 1888, the Sinclair family
He graduated in June 1897 and studied for a time at Columbia University . His major was Law, but he was more interested in writing, and he learned several languages including Spanish, German and French. He paid the one-time enrollment fee to be able to learn a variety of things. He would sign up for a class and then later drop it. He again supported himself through college by writing boys' adventure stories and jokes. He also sold ideas to cartoonists. Using stenographers, he wrote up to 8,000 words of pulp fiction per day. His only complaint about his educational experience was that it failed to educate him about socialism. After leaving Columbia, he wrote four books in the next four years; they were commercially unsuccessful though critically well-received: _King Midas_ (1901), _Prince Hagen_ (1902), _The Journal of Arthur Stirling_ (1903), and a Civil War novel titled _Manassas_ (1904).
Upton became close with Reverend William Wilmerding Moir. Moir specialized in sexual abstinence and taught his beliefs to Sinclair. He was taught to "avoid the subject of sex." Sinclair was to report to Moir monthly regarding his abstinence. Despite their close relationship, Sinclair identified as agnostic.
In 1904, Sinclair spent seven weeks in disguise, working undercover in Chicago's meat-packing plants to research his novel, _ The Jungle _ (1906), a political exposé that addressed conditions in the plants as well as the lives of poor immigrants. When it was published two years later, it became a bestseller.
With the income from _The Jungle_, Sinclair founded the utopian
Helicon Home Colony in
Englewood, New Jersey (
Helicon Home Colony was
a white-only space ). He ran as a
In the spring of 1905, Sinclair issued a call for the formation of a new organization, a group to be called the Intercollegiate Socialist Society .
In 1913–1914, Sinclair made three trips to the coal fields of
Colorado which led him to write _King Coal_ and caused him to begin
work on the larger, more historical _The Coal War._ In 1914, Sinclair
helped organize demonstrations in New York City against
The Sinclairs moved to
Aside from his political and social writings, Sinclair took an interest in occult phenomena and experimented with telepathy . His book _ Mental Radio _ (1930) included accounts of his wife Mary's telepathic experiences and ability. William McDougall read the book and wrote an introduction to it, which led him to establish the parapsychology department at Duke University .
Sinclair broke with the
In the 1920s, the Sinclairs moved to
Monrovia, California , near Los
Angeles, where Sinclair founded the state's chapter of the American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Wanting to pursue politics, he twice ran
unsuccessfully for United States Congress on the
During this period, Sinclair was also active in radical politics in
Los Angeles. For instance, in 1923, to support the challenged free
speech rights of
Industrial Workers of the World , Sinclair spoke at a
rally during the San Pedro Maritime Strike , in a neighborhood now
known as Liberty Hill. He began to read from the
Bill of Rights
In 1934, Sinclair ran in the
Sinclair's plan to end poverty quickly became a controversial issue
under the pressure of numerous migrants to
At the same time, American and Soviet communists disassociated themselves from him, considering him a capitalist. In later writings, such as his anti-alcohol book _The Cup of Fury_, Sinclair scathingly censured communism. Science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein was deeply involved in Sinclair's campaign, although he attempted to move away from the stance later in his life.
After his loss to Merriam, Sinclair abandoned EPIC and politics to return to writing. In 1935, he published _I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked_, in which he described the techniques employed by Merriam's supporters, including the then popular Aimee Semple McPherson , who vehemently opposed socialism and what she perceived as Sinclair's modernism . Sinclair's line from this book "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it" has become well known and was for example quoted by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth .
Of his gubernatorial bid, Sinclair remarked in 1951:
The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the
label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the
In April 1900, Sinclair went to Lake Massawippi in Quebec to work on a novel. He had a small cabin rented for three months and then he moved to a farmhouse. It was here he and his future wife, Meta Fuller, became close. She was three years younger than him and had aspirations of being more than a housewife. Sinclair gave her direction as to what to read and learn. Meta had been a childhood friend whose family was one of the First Families of Virginia . Each had warned the other about themselves and would later bring that up in arguments. They married October 18, 1900. They used abstinence as their main form of birth control. Meta became pregnant with a child shortly after they married and attempted to abort it multiple times. The child was born on December 1, 1901, and named David. Meta and her family tried to get Sinclair to give up writing and get "a job that would support his family." Around 1911, Meta left Sinclair for the poet Harry Kemp , later known as the "Dunes Poet" of Provincetown , Massachusetts.
In 1913, Sinclair married Mary Craig Kimbrough (1883–1961), a woman from an elite Greenwood , Mississippi, family. She had written articles and a book on Winnie Davis , the daughter of Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis . He met her when she attended a lecture by him about _The Jungle_. In the 1920s, the Sinclair couple moved to California. They were married until her death in 1961.
Sinclair married again, to Mary Elizabeth Willis (1882–1967).
Sinclair was opposed to sex outside of marriage and he viewed marital relations as necessary only for procreation. He told his first wife Meta that only the birth of a child gave marriage "dignity and meaning". Despite his beliefs, he had an adulterous affair with Anna Noyes during his marriage to Meta. He wrote a novel about the affair called _Love's Progress_, a sequel to _Love's Pilgrimage_. It was never published. His wife next had an affair with John Armistead Collier, a theology student from Memphis; they had a son together named Ben.
In his novel, _Mammonart_, he suggested that
Late in life Sinclair, with his third wife Mary Willis, moved to Buckeye, Arizona . They returned East to Bound Brook, New Jersey . Sinclair died there in a nursing home on November 25, 1968, a year after his wife. He is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C. , next to Willis.
Sinclair devoted his writing career to documenting and criticizing the social and economic conditions of the early twentieth century in both fiction and non-fiction. He exposed his view of the injustices of capitalism and the overwhelming effects of poverty among the working class. He also edited collections of fiction and non-fiction.
His novel based on the meatpacking industry in Chicago , _The Jungle ,_ was first published in serial form in the socialist newspaper _Appeal to Reason ,_ from February 25, 1905 to November 4, 1905. It was published as a book by Doubleday in 1906.
Sinclair had spent about six months investigating the Chicago
meat-packing industry for _Appeal to Reason_, the work which inspired
his novel. He intended to "set forth the breaking of human hearts by a
system which exploits the labor of men and women for profit". The
novel featured Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant who works in a
meat factory in Chicago, his teenage wife Ona Lukoszaite, and their
extended family. Sinclair portrays their mistreatment by Rudkus'
employers and the wealthier elements of society. His descriptions of
the unsanitary and inhumane conditions that workers suffered served to
shock and galvanize readers.
Sinclair wrote in _
Cosmopolitan Magazine _ in October 1906 about _The
Jungle_: "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in
the stomach." The novel brought public lobbying for Congressional
legislation and government regulation of the industry, including
passage of the
Meat Inspection Act
_THE BRASS CHECK_
In _ The Brass Check _ (1919), Sinclair made a systematic and incriminating critique of the severe limitations of the “free press ” in the United States. Among the topics covered is the use of yellow journalism techniques created by William Randolph Hearst . Sinclair called _The Brass Check_ "the most important and most dangerous book I have ever written."
* _Sylvia _ (1913) was a novel about a Southern girl. In her
Mary Craig Sinclair said she had written the book based
on her own experiences as a girl, and Upton collaborated with her.
She asked him to publish it under his name. When it appeared in 1913,
the _New York Times_ called it "the best novel Mr. Sinclair has yet
written–so much the best that it stands in a class by itself."
* _Sylvia\'s Marriage _ (1914), Craig and Sinclair collaborated on a
sequel, also published by John C. Winston Company under Upton
Sinclair's name. In his 1962 autobiography,
_I, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA, AND HOW I ENDED POVERTY_
This was a novel he published in 1934 as a preface to running for office. He outlined his plans in it.
LANNY BUDD SERIES
Between 1940 and 1953, Sinclair wrote a series of 11 novels featuring a central character named Lanny Budd. The son of an American arms manufacturer, Budd is portrayed as holding in the confidence of world leaders, and not simply witnessing events but often propelling them. As a sophisticated socialite, who mingles easily with people from all cultures and socioeconomic classes, Budd has been characterized as the antithesis of the stereotyped "Ugly American ".
Sinclair placed Budd within the important political events in the United States and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. There was an actual company named the Budd Company which manufactured arms during World War II, founded by Edward G. Budd in 1912.
The novels were bestsellers upon publication and were published in translation, appearing in twenty-one countries. The third book in the series, _Dragon\'s Teeth _ (1942), won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1943. Out of print and nearly forgotten for years, ebook editions of the Lanny Budd series were published in 2016.
The Lanny Budd series includes:
* _World\'s End _, 1940 * _Between Two Worlds _, 1941 * _Dragon\'s Teeth _, 1942 * _ Wide Is the Gate _, 1943 * _ Presidential Agent _, 1944 * _ Dragon Harvest _, 1945 * _A World to Win _, 1946 * _ Presidential Mission _, 1947 * _ One Clear Call _, 1948 * _ O Shepherd, Speak! _, 1949 * _ The Return of Lanny Budd _, 1953
Sinclair was keenly interested in health and nutrition. He experimented with various diets, and with fasting. He wrote about this in his book, _The Fasting Cure_ (1911), another bestseller. He believed that periodic fasting was important for health, saying, "I had taken several fasts of ten or twelve days' duration, with the result of a complete making over of my health".
Sinclair favored a raw food diet of predominantly vegetables and nuts. For long periods of time, he was a complete vegetarian, but he also experimented with eating meat. His attitude to these matters was fully explained in the chapter, “The Use of Meat,” in the above-mentioned book.
REPRESENTATION IN POPULAR CULTURE
* Sinclair is featured as one of the main characters in Chris
Bachelder 's satirical novel, U.S.!_ (2005). Repeatedly, Sinclair is
resurrected after his death and assassinated again, a "personification
of the contemporary failings of the American left". He is portrayed as
a quixotic reformer attempting to stir an apathetic American public to
implement socialism in America.
The Jungle _ (1914) is a silent film adaptation of the 1906
novel, with George Nash playing Jurgis Rudkus and Gail Kane playing
Ona Lukozsaite. The film is considered lost . Sinclair appears at the
beginning and end of the film "as a form of endorsement."
The Wet Parade _ (1932) is a film adaptation of Sinclair's
eponymous 1931 novel, directed by
Victor Fleming and starring Robert
Myrna Loy ,
Walter Huston , and
Jimmy Durante .
The Walt Disney Company
This page IS A CANDIDATE TO BE COPIED TO WIKIQUOTE USING THE TRANSWIKI PROCESS. If the page can be expanded into an encyclopedic article, rather than a list of quotations, please do so and remove this message.
"Our newspapers do not represent public interests, but private interests; they do not represent humanity, but property; they value a man, not because he is great, or good, or wise, or useful, but because he is wealthy, or of service to vested wealth." (Source: _The Brass Check, p. 125_)
"I was determined to get something done about the Condemned Meat Industry. I was determined to get something done about the atrocious conditions under which men, women and children were working the Chicago stockyards. In my efforts to get something done, I was like an animal in a cage. The bars of this cage were newspapers, which stood between me and the public; and inside the cage I roamed up and down, testing one bar after another, and finding them impossible to break." (Source: _The Brass Check, p. 39_)
"The social body to which we belong is at this moment passing through one of the greatest crises of its history . . . What if the nerves upon which we depend for knowledge of this social body should give us false reports of its condition?" (Source: _The Brass Check, p. 9_)
* _Courtmartialed _ – 1898 * _Saved By the Enemy _ – 1898 * _The Fighting Squadron _ – 1898 * _A Prisoner of Morro _ – 1898 * _A Soldier Monk _ – 1898 * _A Gauntlet of Fire _ – 1899 * _Holding the Fort _ – 1899 * _A Soldier\'s Pledge _ – 1899 * _Wolves of the Navy _ – 1899 * _ Springtime and Harvest _ – 1901, reissued the same year as _King Midas_ * _ The Journal of Arthur Stirling _ – 1903 * _Off For West Point _ – 1903 * _From Port to Port _ – 1903 * _On Guard _ – 1903 * _A Strange Cruise _ – 1903 * _The West Point Rivals _ – 1903 * _A West Point Treasure _ – 1903 * _A Cadet\'s Honor _ – 1903 * _Cliff, the Naval Cadet _ – 1903 * _The Cruise of the Training Ship _ – 1903 * _Prince Hagen _ – 1903 * _Manassas: A Novel of the War _ – 1904, reissued in 1959 as _Theirs be the Guilt_ * _A Captain of Industry _ – 1906 * _ The Jungle _ – 1906 * _The Overman _ – 1907 * _The Industrial Republic _ – 1907 * _The Metropolis _ – 1908 * _The Money Changers _ – 1908 * _Samuel The Seeker _ – 1910 * _Love\'s Pilgrimage _ – 1911 * _Damaged Goods _ – 1913 * _Sylvia _ – 1913 * _Sylvia\'s Marriage _ – 1914 * _ King Coal _ – 1917 * _Jimmie Higgins _ – 1919 * _Debs and the Poets _ – 1920 * _100% - The Story of a Patriot _ – 1920 * _The Spy _ – 1920 * _The Book of Life _ – 1921 * _They Call Me Carpenter: A Tale of the Second Coming _ – 1922 * _The Millennium _ – 1924 * _The Goslings A Study Of The American Schools _ – 1924 * _ Mammonart _ – 1925 * _The Spokesman\'s Secretary _ – 1926 * _Money Writes! _ – 1927 * _ Oil! _ – 1927 * _Boston _, 2 vols. – 1928 * _Mountain City _ – 1930 * _Roman Holiday _ – 1931 * _ The Wet Parade _ – 1931 * _American Outpost _ – 1932 * _The Way Out (novel) _ – 1933 * _Immediate Epic _ – 1933 * _The Lie Factory Starts _ – 1934 * _The Book of Love _ – 1934 * _Depression Island _ – 1935 * _Co-op: a Novel of Living Together _ – 1936 * _ The Gnomobile _ – 1936, 1962 * _Wally for Queen _ – 1936 * _No Pasaran!: A Novel of the Battle of Madrid _ – 1937 * _The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America _ – 1937 * _ Little Steel _ – 1938 * _Our Lady _ – 1938 * _Expect No Peace _ – 1939 * _Marie Antoinette (novel) _ – 1939 * _Telling The World_ – 1939 * _Your Million Dollars _ – 1939 * _World\'s End _ – 1940 * _World\'s End Impending _ – 1940 * _Between Two Worlds _ – 1941 * _Dragon\'s Teeth _ – 1942 * _ Wide Is the Gate _ – 1943 * _ Presidential Agent _, 1944 * _ Dragon Harvest _ – 1945 * _A World to Win _ – 1946 * _A Presidential Mission _ – 1947 * _A Giant\'s Strength _ – 1948 * _Limbo on the Loose _ – 1948 * _ One Clear Call _ – 1948 * _ O Shepherd, Speak! _ – 1949 * _Another Pamela _ – 1950 * _Schenk Stefan! _ – 1951 * _A Personal Jesus _ – 1952 * _ The Return of Lanny Budd _ – 1953 * _ The Cup of Fury _ – 1956 * _What Didymus Did _ – UK 1954 / _It Happened to Didymus _ – US 1958 * _Theirs be the Guilt _ – 1959 * _Affectionately Eve _ – 1961 * _ The Coal War _ – 1976
* _The Autobiography of
* _Good Health and How We Won It: With an Account of New Hygiene
(1909) _ – 1909
* _The Fasting Cure _ – 1911
The Profits of Religion _ – 1917
The Brass Check _ – 1919
* _The McNeal-Sinclair Debate on Socialism _ – 1921
* _The Goose-Step _ – 1923
* _Letters to Judd, an American Workingman _ – 1925
* _Mental Radio: Does it work, and how? _ – 1930, 1962
* _Plays of Protest: The Naturewoman, The Machine, The Second-Story Man, Prince Hagen_ – 1912 * _The Pot Boiler _ – 1913 * _Hell: A Verse Drama and Photoplay _ – 1924 * _Singing Jailbirds: A Drama in Four Acts _ – 1924 * _Bill Porter: A Drama of O. Henry in Prison _ – 1925 * _The Enemy Had It Too: A Play in Three Acts _ – 1950
* _The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest _ – 1915
* ^ According to Craig, at her insistence Sinclair published _Sylvia _ (1913) under his name. In her 1957 memoir, she described how she and her husband had collaborated on the work:
"Upton and I struggled through several chapters of _Sylvia_ together, disagreeing about something on every page. But now and then each of us admitted that the other had improved something. I was learning fast now that this novelist was not much of a psychologist. He thought of characters in a book merely as vehicles for carrying his ideas."
* ^ _The Jungle: Upton Sinclair\'s Roar Is Even Louder to Animal Advocates Today_, Humane Society of the United States, March 10, 2006, archived from the original on January 6, 2010, retrieved June 10, 2010
* ^ "Upton Sinclair", _Press in America_, PB works .
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Uppie's Goddess", _Books_, Time, November 18, 1957,
retrieved November 6, 2010 .
* ^ Sinclair, Upton (1994). _I, Candidate for Governor: And How I
Got Licked_. Berkeley, CA: University of
* Arthur, Anthony (2006), _Radical Innocent Upton Sinclair_, New
York: Random House .
* William A. Bloodworth, Jr., _Upton Sinclair._ Boston: Twayne
* Lauren Coodley, editor, _The Land of Orange Groves and Jails:
Upton Sinclair's California._ Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books, 2004.
* Lauren Coodley, _Upton Sinclair:
* _Media from Commons * Quotations from Wikiquote * Texts from Wikisource * Data from Wikidata
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* _The Town _ by
Conrad Richter (1951)
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* t * e
* John McEnery * Roosevelt * Pelosi * Brown * Angelides * Press * Torres * Burton
Gub ./Lt. Gub. Nominees
* Maguire /Hutchinson (1898) * Lane /Dockweiler (1902) * Bell /Toland (1906) * Bell /Spellacy (1910) * Curtin /Snyder (1914) * None/Snyder (1918) * Woolwine /Shearer (1922) * Wardell /Dunbar (1926) * Young /Welsh (1930) * Sinclair/Downey (1934) * Olson /Patterson (1938, 1942) * Roosevelt /Shelley (1946) * Roosevelt /None (1950) * Graves /Roybal (1954) * P. Brown /Anderson (1958, 1962, 1966) * Unruh /Alquist (1970) * J. Brown /Dymally (1974, 1978) * Bradley /McCarthy (1982, 1986) * Feinstein /McCarthy (1990) * K. Brown /Davis (1994) * Davis /Bustamante (1998, 2002, 2003) * Angelides /Garamendi (2006) * J. Brown /Newsom (2010, 2014)
* 2000 * 2004 * 2008 * 2016
* v * t * e
LANNY BUDD SERIES
* _World\'s End _ (1940) * _Between Two Worlds _ (1941) * _Dragon\'s Teeth _ (1942) * _ Wide is the Gate _ (1943) * _ Presidential Agent _ (1944) * _ Dragon Harvest _ (1945) * _A World to Win _ (1946) * _ Presidential Mission _ (1947) * _ One Clear Call _ (1948) * _ O Shepherd, Speak! _ (1949) * _ The Return of Lanny Budd _ (1953)
* _ The Journal of Arthur Stirling _ (1903) * _ The Jungle _ (1906) * _ King Coal _ (1917) * _ They Call Me Carpenter _ (1922) * _ Mammonart _ (1925) * _ Oil! _ (1927) * _Boston _ (1928) * _Roman Holiday _ (1931) * _The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America _ (1937) * _ Little Steel _ (1938) * _ The Cup of Fury _ (1956) * _ The Coal War _ (1976)
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 32002923 * LCCN : n79127862 * ISNI : 0000 0003 6865 058X * GND : 118797395 * SELIBR : 225270 * SUDOC : 027139913 * BNF : cb11924897n (data) * NLA : 35501455 * NDL : 00526223 * NKC : jn19990007989 * ICCU : ITICCUCFIV764 * BNE : XX1018013 * IATH : w6t152xf
Links: ------ /wiki/Pulitzer_Prize_for_Fiction /wiki/Muckraker /wiki/The_Jungle /wiki/Meat_packing_industry /wiki/Pure_Food_and_Drug_Act /wiki/Meat_Inspection_Act /#cite_note-1 /wiki/The_Brass_Check /wiki/Expos%C3%A9_(journalism) /wiki/Yellow_journalism /wiki/Code_of_ethics /#cite_note-2 /#cite_note-timebelle-3