[Clan Sinclair]
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Upton Beall Sinclair (1878-1968)

From: —labehotiere <>

Born in Baltimore, Maryland. USA, 20th September, 1878, died 25th Nov. 25, 1968, is as famous for his social concern as for his many novels. His first well-known novel, the Jungle, exposed the appalling conditions in the Chicago stockyards and influenced passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act.

Sinclair subsequently tried and failed to exercise his socialism in a cooperative colony, in Arden Delaware but he persisted as a muckraker. Upton Sinclair was an avowed socialist.

Fearful that the public would not wait for the socialist dream to be realized in America, Sinclair switched to the Democratic party.

California, popularly known as the land of milk and honey before the Depression struck, was suffering just as much misery as the rest of the American nation by 1934. That year, Socialist-turned-Democrat Upton Sinclair entered California's governor's race as the Democratic candidate for governor of California on his famous EPIC (End Poverty in California) program. A plan to end poverty in the state; against him was a powerful group of Republicans, old-line Democrats, Hollywood studios, and ad agencies. In September, prominent Republicans met in Los Angeles to raise money for Sinclair's defeat. His proposed program, called EPIC — End Poverty In California — called for the state to turn over idle farms and factories to the unemployed in a system of cooperatives based on "production for use" instead of "production for profit.

There is no excuse for poverty in a state as rich as California. We can produce so much food that we have to dump it into our bay.

Campaign workers were convinced Sinclair was going to win. Ultimately, however, Republican opponent Frank Merriam carried the election with 1.1 million votes to Sinclair's 900,000. However, Sinclair's campaign did have an impact on the political landscape in California: 27 out of 80 members of the state legislature were EPIC legislators, new to politics, creating an infusion of new blood into California politics and the Democratic party. Across the country, Sinclair's leftist leaning made room for change at the centre of American politics; in addition, he persuaded ordinary people that — win or lose — they had a voice in the electoral process.

After his defeat Upton Sinclair launched a new and highly successful writing career. In 1940, at the age of 62, he published World's End. His novel Dragon's Teeth (1942), about Hitler's rise to power, won the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.


I, Governor of California And How I Ended Poverty: A True Story of the Future End povertry League, Los Angeles, 1933.

We, People of America and How We Ended Poverty: A True Story of the Future, national ECIP League Pasadena 1936.

``Upton Sinclair,'' William A. Bloodworth, Dictionary of Literary Biography.

Last changed: $Date: 2002/09/08 17:00:47 $ [Clan Sinclair]