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September 20, 1878 – November 25, 1968
Upton Beall Sinclair was an American writer, muckraker, political activist and the 1934 Democratic Party nominee for Governor of California 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.
“The Jungle”, “World’s End”, “American Outpost: A Book of Reminiscences”, “Dragon’s Teeth”, “My Lifetime in Letters”, “Oil!”
Sinclair was supporting himself as a journalist when an assignment led him to write The Jungle (1906), a best-selling muckraking exposé of conditions in the Chicago stockyards. A landmark among naturalistic, proletarian novels, it aroused great public indignation and resulted in the passage of the U.S. Pure Food and Drug Act.
The 1942 installment in the series, Dragon’s Teeth, which explores the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism in Germany, earned Sinclair the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the following year.
By the early 1920s, Sinclair founded the California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and as a candidate for the Socialist Party, he launched unsuccessful bids for Congress. With the onset of the Great Depression, Sinclair intensified his political activities. He organized the End Poverty in California (EPIC) movement, a public-works program that was the basis for his 1934 run as the Democratic Party’s candidate for governor of California. He celebrated his loss by publishing a work titled I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked in 1935.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
“I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”
“Fascism is capitalism plus murder.”