November 10, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual

Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual

Lauren Coodley

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0803243820

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Had Upton Sinclair not written a single book after The Jungle, he would still be famous. But Sinclair was a mere twenty-five years old when he wrote The Jungle, and over the next sixty-five years he wrote nearly eighty more books and won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. He was also a filmmaker, labor activist, women’s rights advocate, and health pioneer on a grand scale. This new biography of Sinclair underscores his place in the American story as a social, political, and cultural force, a man who more than any other disrupted and documented his era in the name of social justice.

Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual shows us Sinclair engaged in one cause after another, some surprisingly relevant today—the Sacco-Vanzetti trial, the depredations of the oil industry, the wrongful imprisonment of the Wobblies, and the perils of unchecked capitalism and concentrated media. Throughout, Lauren Coodley provides a new perspective for looking at Sinclair’s prodigiously productive life. Coodley’s book reveals a consistent streak of feminism, both in Sinclair’s relationships with women—wives, friends, and activists—and in his interest in issues of housework and childcare, temperance and diet. This biography will forever alter our picture of this complicated, unconventional, often controversial man whose whole life was dedicated to helping people understand how society was run, by whom, and for whom.

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Hunt Club with local businessmen: “one of my opponents here in Pasadena called me ‘the human rabbit.’” He added, “I played tennis with the utmost delight.”9 His victories in tournaments were reported in the Pasadena Star-News, which characterized him as “mild-mannered and living a simple life.”¹0 Sinclair joined the local chapter of the Socialist Party and became its chair. Along with a group of new friends, he helped found the Workers Cooperative 70 1916–1927 7. Sinclair playing tennis. In

triumph.”59 The Eisenstein project was wreaking havoc on the Sinclair marriage. Sinclair turned to the Soviet government for assistance. The Soviet response was to order Eisenstein home immediately.60 Eisenstein returned to the USSR without his footage, which Sinclair gave to a friend, film editor Sol Lesser. Lesser edited the film, ¡Qué viva México!, into a much shorter picture, and then renamed it Thunder Over Mexico. When the film opened in Los Angeles in 1933, members of the Communist Party

grabbed Duchess’s front paws, and managed to lift her fifty pounds out of the drainage basin and onto the ground beside them. Despite all the traveling, Sinclair published a second book in 1936. Co-op was a novel about the cooperative movement in California.¹¹8 He based the novel partially on his interviews with the residents at Pipe City, in Oakland, a settlement from the winter of 1932–33, 130 1928–1939 when about two hundred people moved into the large concrete pipes in the storage yard of

the rich over their own role in the making of social order when confronted with inequality and human misery.”48 Lanny Budd feels a growing sense of responsibility for his friends in Europe. Family connections and his expertise in fine art enable Lanny to move freely behind Axis lines once war is declared, making him valuable to the Allied powers and to Franklin Roosevelt in particular. Lanny straddles two political worlds, but his patriotism and devotion to the Allied cause are never in doubt.

biography — and of course I’m the only person who really can.”³¹ When the book was ready she asked Hunter to read it for errors, having considered and rejected Floyd Dell because Dell “knows nothing about the South and will probably be bored to death (even angry) with the Southern stuff and therefore unable to judge it reasonably.”³² Craig was offered only a thousand-dollar advance for her book. She decided it was more important to get published while she was still alive. Peggy Prenshaw comments

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