Upton Sinclair

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Upton Sinclair
Upton Beall Sinclair Jr.jpg
BornUpton Beall Sinclair Jr.
(1878-09-20)September 20, 1878
Baltimore, Maryland
DiedNovember 25, 1968(1968-11-25) (aged 90)
Bound Brook, New Jersey
OccupationNovelist, writer, journalist, political activist, politician
Nationality American
Notable works The Jungle
  • Meta Fuller
    (m. 1900;div. 1911)
  • Mary Craig Kimbrough
    (m. 1913;died 1961)
  • Mary Elizabeth Willis
    (m. 1961;died 1967)

Signature Upton Sinclair signature.svg

Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. (September 20, 1878 – November 25, 1968) was an American writer who wrote nearly 100 books and other works in several genres. Sinclair's work was well known and popular in the first half of the 20th century, and he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943.

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction award

The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It recognizes distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, published during the preceding calendar year. As the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, it was one of the original Pulitzers; the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.


In 1906, Sinclair acquired particular fame for his classic muck-raking novel The Jungle , which exposed labor and sanitary conditions in the U.S. meatpacking 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. [1] In 1919, he published The Brass Check , a muck-raking exposé of American journalism that publicized the issue of yellow journalism and the limitations of the "free press" in the United States. Four years after publication of The Brass Check, the first code of ethics for journalists was created. [2] Time magazine called him "a man with every gift except humor and silence". [3] He is also well remembered for the line: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." [4] He used this line in speeches and the book about his campaign for governor as a way to explain why the editors and publishers of the major newspapers in California would not treat seriously his proposals for old age pensions and other progressive reforms. [5]

Muckraker reform-minded American journalists who attacked established institutions and leaders as corrupt

The term muckraker was used in the Progressive Era to characterize reform-minded American journalists who attacked established institutions and leaders as corrupt. They typically had large audiences in some popular magazines. In the US, the modern term is investigative journalism—it has different and more pejorative connotations in British English—and investigative journalists in the US today are often informally called "muckrakers".

<i>The Jungle</i> Novel by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle is a 1906 novel by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the harsh conditions and exploited lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. His primary purpose in describing the meat industry and its working conditions was to advance socialism in the United States. However, most readers were more concerned with several passages exposing health violations and unsanitary practices in the American meat packing industry during the early 20th century, which greatly contributed to a public outcry which led to reforms including the Meat Inspection Act. Sinclair famously said of the public reaction, "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach."

Pure Food and Drug Act consumer protection law in the United States of America

The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was the first of a series of significant consumer protection laws which was enacted by Congress in the 20th century and led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration. Its main purpose was to ban foreign and interstate traffic in adulterated or mislabeled food and drug products, and it directed the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry to inspect products and refer offenders to prosecutors. It required that active ingredients be placed on the label of a drug’s packaging and that drugs could not fall below purity levels established by the United States Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair with its graphic and revolting descriptions of unsanitary conditions and unscrupulous practices rampant in the meatpacking industry, was an inspirational piece that kept the public's attention on the important issue of unhygienic meat processing plants that later led to food inspection legislation. Sinclair quipped, "I aimed at the public's heart and by accident I hit it in the stomach," as outraged readers demanded and got the pure food law.

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 and the industrialist's points of view. Novels such as 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.

<i>King Coal</i> Novel by Upton Sinclair

King Coal is a 1917 novel by Upton Sinclair that describes the poor working conditions in the coal mining industry in the western United States during the 1910s, from the perspective of a single protagonist, Hal Warner. As in his earlier work, The Jungle, Sinclair uses the novel to express his socialist viewpoint. The book is based on the 1913-1914 Colorado coal strikes and written just after the Ludlow massacre. The sequel to King Coal was posthumously published under the title, The Coal War.

<i>The Coal War</i> novel by Upton Sinclair

The Coal War is a novel by Upton Sinclair. It is a sequel to King Coal and documents the continuing exploits of that novel's protagonist, Hal Warner. When Sinclair submitted the novel for publication in 1917, it was rejected as being insufficiently interesting from a novelistic standpoint. After this, the manuscript remained in limbo until 1976, when it was finally published by the Colorado Associated University Press. The book was published eight years after Sinclair's death.

<i>Oil!</i> novel by Upton Sinclair

Oil! is a novel by Upton Sinclair, first published in 1926–27 and told as a third-person narrative, with only the opening pages written in the first person. The book was written in the context of the Harding administration's Teapot Dome Scandal and takes place in Southern California. It is a social and political satire skewering the human foibles of all its characters.

The Flivver King describes the rise of Henry Ford, his "wage reform" and his company's Sociological Department, to his decline into antisemitism as publisher of The Dearborn Independent . King Coal confronts John D. Rockefeller Jr., and his role in the 1913 Ludlow Massacre in the coal fields of Colorado.

Henry Ford American businessperson

Henry Ford was an American industrialist and a business magnate, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.

<i>The Dearborn Independent</i>

The Dearborn Independent, also known as The Ford International Weekly, was a weekly newspaper established in 1901, and published by Henry Ford from 1919 through 1927. The paper reached a circulation of 900,000 by 1925, second only to the New York Daily News, largely due to a quota system for promotion imposed on Ford dealers. Lawsuits regarding anti-Semitic material published in the paper caused Ford to close it, and the last issue was published in December 1927. The publication's title was derived from the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan.

John D. Rockefeller Jr. American financier and philanthropist

John Davison Rockefeller Jr. was an American financier and philanthropist who was a prominent member of the Rockefeller family. He was the only son among the five children of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller and the father of the five famous Rockefeller brothers. In biographies, he is commonly referred to as "Junior" to distinguish him from his father, "Senior". His sons included Nelson Rockefeller, the 41st Vice President of The United States; Winthrop Rockefeller, the 37th Governor of Arkansas; and banker David Rockefeller.

Sinclair was an outspoken socialist and ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a nominee from the Socialist Party. He was also the Democratic Party candidate for Governor of California during the Great Depression, running under the banner of the End Poverty in California campaign, but was defeated in the 1934 elections.

Socialist Party of America United States political party

The Socialist Party of America (SPA) was a multi-tendency democratic socialist and social democratic political party in the United States formed in 1901 by a merger between the three-year-old Social Democratic Party of America and disaffected elements of the Socialist Labor Party of America which had split from the main organization in 1899.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Governor of California Head of Government in the US State of California

The Governor of California is the head of government of the U.S. state of California. The California Governor is the chief executive of the state government and the commander-in-chief of the California National Guard and the California State Military Reserve.

Early life and education

Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Upton Beall Sinclair Sr. and Priscilla Harden Sinclair. His father was a liquor salesman whose alcoholism shadowed his son's childhood. Priscilla Harden Sinclair was a strict Episcopalian who disliked alcohol, tea, and coffee. Both of Upton Sinclair's parents were of English ancestry, and all of his ancestors emigrated to America from England during the late 1600s and early 1700s. [6] As a child, Sinclair slept either on sofas or cross-ways on his parents' bed. When his father was out for the night, he would sleep alone in the bed with his mother. [7] Sinclair did not get along with her when he became older because of her strict rules and refusal to allow him independence. Sinclair later told his son, David, that around Sinclair's 16th year, he decided not to have anything to do with his mother, staying away from her for 35 years because an argument would start if they met. [8] His mother's family was very affluent: her parents were very prosperous in Baltimore, and her sister married a millionaire. Sinclair had wealthy maternal grandparents with whom he often stayed. This gave him insight into how both the rich and the poor lived during the late 19th century. Living in two social settings affected him and greatly influenced his books. Upton Beall Sinclair, Sr., was from a highly respected family in the South, but the family was financially ruined by the Civil War, disruptions of the labor system during the Reconstruction era, and an extended agricultural depression.

Baltimore Largest city in Maryland, United States

Baltimore is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the 30th most populous city in the United States, with a population of 602,495 in 2018 and also the largest such independent city in the country. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.802 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2018 population of 9,797,063.

Maryland U.S. state in the United States

Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary, who was the wife of King Charles I.

Alcoholism Broad term for problems with alcohol

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a broad term for any drinking of alcohol that results in mental or physical health problems. The disorder was previously divided into two types: alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. In a medical context, alcoholism is said to exist when two or more of the following conditions are present: a person drinks large amounts of alcohol over a long time period, has difficulty cutting down, acquiring and drinking alcohol takes up a great deal of time, alcohol is strongly desired, usage results in not fulfilling responsibilities, usage results in social problems, usage results in health problems, usage results in risky situations, withdrawal occurs when stopping, and alcohol tolerance has occurred with use. Risky situations include drinking and driving or having unsafe sex, among other things. Alcohol use can affect all parts of the body, but it particularly affects the brain, heart, liver, pancreas and immune system. This can result in mental illness, Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome, irregular heartbeat, an impaired immune response, liver cirrhosis and increased cancer risk, among other diseases. Drinking during pregnancy can cause damage to the baby resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Women are generally more sensitive than men to the harmful physical and mental effects of alcohol.

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 10 years old. He was deficient in math and worked hard to catch up quickly because of his embarrassment. [9] In 1888, the Sinclair family moved to Queens, New York, where his father sold shoes. Upton entered the City College of New York five days before his 14th birthday, [10] on September 15, 1892. [7] He wrote jokes, dime novels, and magazine articles in boys' weekly and pulp magazines to pay for his tuition. [11] With that income, he was able to move his parents to an apartment when he was seventeen years old. [12]

He graduated in June 1897 and studied for a time at Columbia University. [13] 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. [14] He again supported himself through college by writing boys' adventure stories and jokes. He also sold ideas to cartoonists. [12] 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. [15] 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).[ citation needed ]

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. [9]


Upton Sinclair considered himself a poet and dedicated his time to writing poetry. [16]

Upton Sinclair early in his career Upton Sinclair 1.jpg
Upton Sinclair early in his career
Upton Sinclair wearing a white suit and black armband, picketing the Rockefeller Building in New York City Upton sinclair white suit black armband picketing rockefeller bldg.jpg
Upton Sinclair wearing a white suit and black armband, picketing the Rockefeller Building in New York City

In 1904, Sinclair spent seven weeks in disguise, working undercover in Chicago's meatpacking 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—but non-Jewish white only--Helicon Home Colony in Englewood, New Jersey (Helicon Home Colony was a white-only space [17] ). He ran as a Socialist candidate for Congress. [18] [19] The colony burned down under suspicious circumstances within a year. [20]

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. [21]

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 Rockefeller at the Standard Oil offices. The demonstrations touched off more actions by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the Mother Earth group, a loose association of anarchists and IWW members, in Rockefeller's hometown of Tarrytown. [22]

The Sinclairs moved to California in the 1920s and lived there for nearly four decades. During his years with his second wife, Mary Craig, Sinclair wrote or produced several films. Recruited by Charlie Chaplin, Sinclair and Mary Craig produced Eisenstein's ¡Qué viva México! in 1930–32. [23]

Other interests

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. [24] [25] William McDougall read the book and wrote an introduction to it, which led him to establish the parapsychology department at Duke University. [26]

Political career

Sinclair broke with the Socialist party in 1917 and supported the war effort. By the 1920s, however, he had returned to the party.

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. Wanting to pursue politics, he twice ran unsuccessfully for United States Congress on the Socialist ticket: in 1920 for the House of Representatives and in 1922 for the Senate. He was the party candidate for governor of California in 1930, winning nearly 50,000 votes.

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 and was promptly arrested, along with hundreds of others, by the LAPD. The arresting officer proclaimed: "We'll have none of that Constitution stuff". [27]

In 1934, Sinclair ran in the California gubernatorial election as a Democrat. Sinclair's platform, known as the End Poverty in California movement (EPIC), galvanized the support of the Democratic Party, and Sinclair gained its nomination. [28] Gaining 879,000 votes made this his most successful run for office, but incumbent Governor Frank Merriam defeated him by a sizable margin, [29] gaining 1,138,000 votes. [30] [31] Hollywood studio bosses unanimously opposed Sinclair. They pressured their employees to assist and vote for Merriam's campaign, and made false propaganda films attacking Sinclair, giving him no opportunity to respond. [32]

Upton Sinclair Photo of Upton Sinclair.jpg
Upton Sinclair

Sinclair's plan to end poverty quickly became a controversial issue under the pressure of numerous migrants to California fleeing the Dust Bowl. Conservatives considered his proposal an attempted communist takeover of their state and quickly opposed him, using propaganda to portray Sinclair as a staunch communist. Sinclair had been a member of the Socialist Party from 1902 to 1934, when he became a Democrat, though always considering himself a Socialist in spirit. [33] The Socialist party in California and nationwide refused to allow its members to be active in any other party including the Democratic Party and expelled him, along with socialists who supported his California campaign. The expulsions destroyed the Socialist party in California. [34]

At the same time, American and Soviet communists disassociated themselves from him, considering him a capitalist. [35] In later writings, such as his antialcohol 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. [36] In the 21st century, Sinclair is considered an early American democratic socialist. [37] [38]

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. [39]

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 Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them. [40]

Personal life

Sinclair's grave in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC Upton Sinclair grave.jpg
Sinclair's grave in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC

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. [9] Here, he met his first wife, Meta Fuller, and they 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. [9] Fuller 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 on October 18, 1900. [9] They used abstinence as their main form of birth control. Fuller became pregnant with a child shortly after they married and attempted to abort it multiple times. [9] The child was born on December 1, 1901, and named David. [41] [ page needed ] Meta and her family tried to get Sinclair to give up writing and get "a job that would support his family." [16] Around 1911, Meta left Sinclair for the poet Harry Kemp, [42] 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 one of his lectures about The Jungle. [43] 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). [44]

Sinclair was opposed to sex outside of marriage and he viewed marital relations as necessary only for procreation. [45] He told his first wife Meta that only the birth of a child gave marriage "dignity and meaning". [46] 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. [47] His wife next had an affair with John Armistead Collier, a theology student from Memphis; they had a son together named Ben. [48]

In his novel, Mammonart, he suggested that Christianity was a religion that favored the rich and promoted a drop of standards. He was against it. [49]

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. [42] 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 20th century in both fiction and nonfiction. 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 nonfiction.

The Jungle

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. [50]

Sinclair had spent about six months investigating the Chicago meatpacking 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". [51] The novel featured Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant who works in a meat factory in Chicago, his teenaged 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. Jack London called Sinclair's book "the Uncle Tom's Cabin of wage slavery". [52] Domestic and foreign purchases of American meat fell by half. [53]

Sinclair wrote in Cosmopolitan in October 1906 about The Jungle: "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." [3] The novel brought public lobbying for Congressional legislation and government regulation of the industry, including passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. [54] [55] At the time, President Theodore Roosevelt characterized Sinclair as a "crackpot", [56] writing to William Allen White, "I have an utter contempt for him. He is hysterical, unbalanced, and untruthful. Three-fourths of the things he said were absolute falsehoods. For some of the remainder there was only a basis of truth." [57] After reading The Jungle, Roosevelt agreed with some of Sinclair's conclusions, but was opposed to legislation that he considered "socialist". He said, "Radical action must be taken to do away with the efforts of arrogant and selfish greed on the part of the capitalist." [58]

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." [59]

Sylvia novels

I, Governor of California, and How I Ended Poverty

This was a novel he published in 1934 as a preface to running for office in the state of California. In the book he outlined his plans to run as a Democrat instead of a Socialist, and describes his climb to the Democratic nomination, and then subsequent victory by a margin of 100,000 votes. [65] [66]

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". [67]

Sinclair placed Budd within the important political events in the United States and Europe in the first half of the 20th century. An actual company named the Budd Company 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 21 countries. The third book in the series, Dragon's Teeth (1942), won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1943. [68] Out of print and nearly forgotten for years, ebook editions of the Lanny Budd series were published in 2016. [69]

The Lanny Budd series includes:

Other works

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. [70] 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". [71]

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. [72]

President Lyndon B. Johnson greets Upton Sinclair as others look on. President Lyndon B. Johnson greets Upton Sinclair.jpg
President Lyndon B. Johnson greets Upton Sinclair as others look on.



Upton Sinclair selling the "Fig Leaf Edition" of his book Oil! (1927) in Boston Upton Sinclair Oil.jpg
Upton Sinclair selling the "Fig Leaf Edition" of his book Oil! (1927) in Boston





As editor

See also


  1. According to Craig, at her insistence Sinclair published Sylvia (1913) under his name. In her 1957 memoir, she described how her husband and she 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.

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Ben Hanford American socialist politician

Benjamin "Ben" Hanford was an American socialist politician during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A printer by trade, Hanford is best remembered for his 1904 and 1908 runs for Vice President of the United States on the ticket of the Socialist Party of America, running next to Presidential nominee Eugene V. Debs. Hanford was also the creator of the fictional character "Jimmie Higgins," a prototypical Socialist rank-and-filer whose silent work on the unglamorous tasks needed by any political organization made the group's achievements possible — a character later reprised in a novel by Upton Sinclair.

<i>New York Call</i> defunct socialist daily newspaper published in New York City, New York, United States

The New York Call was a socialist daily newspaper published in New York City from 1908 through 1923. The Call was the second of three English-language dailies affiliated with the Socialist Party of America, following the Chicago Daily Socialist (1906–1912) and preceding the Milwaukee Leader (1911–1938).

Socialist Party of California

The Socialist Party of California (SPCA) is a socialist political party in the U.S. state of California. Founded in the early 1900s, it has been the state chapter of the Socialist Party USA since being re-chartered in 2011.

Mary Craig Sinclair American parapsychologist

Mary Craig Sinclair (1882–1961) was a writer and the wife of Upton Sinclair.

<i>The Jungle</i> (1914 film) 1914 silent short film

The Jungle (1914) is an American drama silent film made by the All-Star Feature Corporation starring George Nash. The film is an adaptation of the 1906 book of the same name by Upton Sinclair, the only one to date. Sinclair reportedly bought the negative of the film prior to 1916, hoping to market the film nationally after its initial release in 1914. Sinclair himself reportedly appears at the beginning and end of the movie, as a sort of endorsement of the film.

Lena Morrow Lewis American activist and journalist

Martha Lena Morrow Lewis (1868-1950), commonly known by her middle name Lena, was an American orator, political organizer, journalist, and newspaper editor. An activist in the prohibition, women's suffrage, and socialist movements, Lewis is best remembered as a top female leader of the Socialist Party of America during that organization's heyday in the first two decades of the 20th Century and as the first woman to serve on that organization's governing National Executive Committee.


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Further reading

Party political offices
Preceded by
Milton M. Young
Democratic nominee for
Governor of California

Succeeded by
Culbert Olson
Title last held by
Noble A. Richardson, 1914
Socialist nominee for
Governor of California

1926, 1930
Party defunct