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Sinclair, Upton (Beall) (1878-1968).

novelist, editor. Born in Baltimore, Sinclair began writing at 15 during his student days at the City College of New York and Columbia. His early novels include Springtime and Harvest (1901, retitled King Midas); Prince Hagen (1903); The Journal of Arthur Stirling (1903); Manassas (1904), about the Civil War; and A Captain of Industry (1906). Sinclair won an international reputation with his expose of meatpacking houses, The Jungle (1906). This book was widely credited with forcing the Federal government to strengthen food adulteration laws. Sinclair invested the proceeds from this widely sold book in a cooperative socialist community, The Helicon Home Colony, in Englewood, New Jersey. He moved to California in 1915 where, in 1934, he forged an alliance of the unemployed and progressives (EPIC, End Poverty in California) that controlled the state Democratic Party and nearly won him the governorship. He made several more unsuccessful tries at public office.

Between 1901 and 1940, Sinclair published more than 100 works. Titles from this period include The Metropolis (1908); The Money-changers (1908); Love's Pilgrimage (1911), in part autobiographical; King Coal (1917); They Call Me Carpenter (1922); <IR> OIL </IR> ! (1927): <IR> BOSTON </IR> (1928), which deals with the <IR> SACCO-VANZETTI CASE; </IR> The Wet Parade (1931); Plays of Protest (1912) and other plays; many political and industrial studies, including <IR> THE BRASS CHECK, </IR> <IR> A STUDY OF AMERICAN JOURNALISM </IR> (1919); American Outpost: A Book of Reminiscences (1932); and Upton Sinclair Presents William Fox (1933). He also edited an anthology, The Cry for Justice (1915). His papers, collected at the Lilly Library of Indiana University, include more than a quarter of a million letters to the known and the unknown. Sinclair published a selection of this material in My Lifetime in Letters (1960). His Autobiography appeared in 1962.

World's End (1940) initiated a series of eleven novels centered on Lanny Budd, an international traveler who figures in intrigues and politics from World War I to the Cold War. The titles in this series are Between Two Worlds (1941); Dragon's Teeth (1942, Pulitzer Prize), on Anti-Nazi activities in the early 1930s; Wide is the Gate (1943), on the Spanish Civil War and the French Resistance; The Presidential Agent (1944), in which Budd serves President Franklin Roosevelt; Dragon Harvest (1945), set in France under Nazi seige; A World to Win (1946) and A Presidential Mission (1947) which takes place in Europe, North Africa, and the Orient from 1940 to 1943; One Clear Call (1948) and O Shepherd, Speak (1949), which describe the war's end and its aftermath; and The Return of Lanny Budd (1953), which warns of the dangers of Soviet Russia.

Sinclair's later fiction includes What Didymus Did (1954, reissued as It Happened to Didymus, 1958); The Cup of Fury (1956); Affectionately Eve (1961); and The Coal War: A Sequel to King Coal (1977). Sinclair used pen names that include Clarke Fitch, Frederick Garrison, and Arthur Stirling.

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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