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Upton Sinclair and the Other American…

Upton Sinclair and the Other American Century

by Kevin Mattson

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"Upton Sinclair was the first celebrity to run for governor of California. He published an eponymous magazine and lectured Americans on war, wages, diet, education, the media, and anything else he could think of. He wrote books fast, made important friends faster, and made enemies fastest of all. He won a Pulitzer, but not for the most important book he ever wrote, The Jungle. He wrote a book that Disney made into one of his worst movies. His love life was a national scandal. He lost a fortune financing (on Charlie Chaplin's advice) a Sergei Eisenstein film the director never finished. He lived and wrote and argued his way through World War I, workers' revolts, frivolous flappers, Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II, and even, at the end, Vietnam. Upton Sinclair never thought he'd be the twentieth century's greatest novelist, but he may have been its greatest progressive activist. He was unquestionably a one-of-a-kind American." "With the publication of his ferocious expose of the Chicago meat packing industry, Sinclair gained instant fame as a formidable opponent of the powerful forces he saw oppressing the common man - from religion to unregulated capitalism. Not content to simply sit at home and write, Sinclair often took his show on the road. For the next sixty years, he seemed to be at the center of every national debate, supporting workers' rights, running as a Socialist candidate for political office, exposing corruption in industry and government, and, to the surprise of many of his fans, supporting Prohibition and, later, the cold war."--Jacket.… (more)

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