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American Writers: a journey through history is a permanent archive for educators, researchers and every one interested in the writers featured in the  C‑SPAN series.


V







Born: September 20, 1878 - Baltimore, Maryland
Died: Nov. 25 - 1968, Bound Brook, New Jersey


Born to an eminent but financially straitened family, Sinclair began earning money by writing at 15, and supported himself by doing literary hackwork while doing graduate work
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Upton Sinclair, The Jungle
C-SPAN's Video Library: Upton Sinclair
at Columbia University. An assignment from a socialist weekly led him to write The Jungle (1906), his sixth novel and first popular success. Published at his own expense after several publishers rejected it, it became an immensely influential best-seller. He used the proceeds to open a socialist colony in Englewood, N.J., which was abandoned when the building was destroyed by fire in 1907.

A long series of other muckraking novels—among them King Coal (1917), Oil! (1927), based on the Teapot Dome Scandal, and Boston (1928), based on the Sacco-Vanzetti trial—followed, but none achieved the popularity of The Jungle. Sinclair again reached a wide audience with his Lanny Budd series, 11 contemporary historical novels constructed around an implausible antifascist hero, beginning with World's End (1940) and including Dragon's Teeth (1942, Pulitzer Prize).

Works by Upton Sinclair
The Jungle (1906)
King Coal (1917)
Oil! (1927)
Boston (1928)
World's End (1940)
Dragon's Teeth (1942, Pulitzer Prize)
American Outpost (1932)
The Autobiography of Upton Sinclair (1962)
During the economic crisis of the 1930s, he organized the EPIC (End Poverty in California) socialist reform movement. He ran repeatedly but unsuccessfully for public office as a Socialist; running as a Democrat for governor of California in 1934, he was only narrowly defeated. His autobiographical American Outpost (1932) was reworked and extended in The Autobiography of Upton Sinclair (1962).

Web sites about Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair and the EPIC Plan



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