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Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair (September 20, 1878 - November 25, 1968) was a writer in many genres, popular at the turn of the twentieth century, often advocating Socialist views. He is perhaps best known for his novel, The Jungle (1905), which dealt with conditions in U.S. meat packing industry and caused a public uproar which ultimately led to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act in 1906.

Upton Sinclair had an unusual upbringing. His father was an alcoholic and his immediate family was poor, but he often stayed with his wealthy grandparents in New York, allowing him to experience the two extremes of American society.

To pay his way through New York City College, he wrote jokes and fiction for magazines and newspapers. His was successful enough to progress to the Columbia graduate school.

After writing The Jungle, he invested nearly $30,000 of the proceeds into the Helicon Home Colony, which was a utopian society being set up in New Jersey. Unfortunately, it burned down four months later.

He ran for Governor of California twice, but lost both times, although he gained votes in the second election with a plan known as EPIC (End Poverty in California) external link: an article by Sinclair on EPIC (http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist1/sinclair) at the Museum of the City of San Francisco

Books by Upton Sinclair

External Links

e-texts of some of Upton Sinclair's works:
  • The Jungle (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=1055)
  • Prince Hagen (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=1844) - a fantasy/love-story/socialist play
  • The Profits of Religion (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=1874) - a not-too-gentle enquiry into the corruption found in the Christian church

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