Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair (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 muckrakers, 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 Case, 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 Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

FREE! The Jungle
Upton Sinclair.
Doubleday, Page, 1906
Global Muckraking: The International Impact of Upton Sinclair's the Jungle
Hussey, Michael.
Teaching History: A Journal of Methods, Vol. 34, No. 1, Spring 2009
The Long and the Short of the Jungle
Boylan, James.
Journalism History, Vol. 34, No. 3, Fall 2008
Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual
Lauren Coodley.
University of Nebraska Press, 2013
The Jungle at 100
Bachelder, Chris.
Mother Jones, Vol. 31, No. 1, January/February 2006
Upton Sinclair, the Lithuanian Jungle: Upon the Centenary of the Jungle (1905 and 1906) by Upton Sinclair
Giedrius Subačius.
Rodopi, 2006
My Lifetime in Letters
Upton Sinclair.
University of Missouri Press, 1960
The Muckrakers: Evangelical Crusaders
Robert Miraldi.
Praeger Publishers, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Upton Sinclair begins on p. 13
The Journalist's Moral Compass: Basic Principles
Steven R. Knowlton; Patrick R. Parsons.
Praeger, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 20 "Upton Sinclair, 1878-1968"
The Goose-Step: A Study of American Education
Upton Sinclair.
Author, 1923
FREE! The Profits of Religion: An Essay in Economic Interpretation
Upton Sinclair.
AMS Press, 1918
Manassas: A Novel of the War
Upton Sinclair.
University of Alabama Press, 2000
Letters to Judd, An American Workingman
Upton Sinclair.
The Author, 1926
Upton Sinclair Presents William Fox
Upton Sinclair.
The author, 1933
Another Pamela, Or, Virtue Still Rewarded: A Story
Upton Sinclair.
Viking Press, 1950
What a Beating Feels Like: Authorship, Dissolution, and Masculinity in Sinclair's 'The Jungle.' (Upton Sinclair)
Derrick, Scott.
Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 23, No. 1, Spring 1995
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