Upton Sinclair was the Pulitzer Prize winning author who drew his writing inspiration from social injustice and used his novels to highlight to the world how capitalism exploited the working classes feeding off the impoverished who were desperate to feed their families. Sinclair started his writing career as a teenager by penning short story's and selling them into the dime novel industry. After leaving Columbia University he wrote 4 books in as many years and although they did not receive any negative press they were all commercially unsuccessful. His 1906 novel "The Jungle" was a commercial success and went on to become a best seller even getting the attention of high ranking politicians such was the strength of the social injustice message it portrayed. Sinclair had spent several weeks incognito in a Chicago meat packing plant researching the poor conditions the workers were subjected to. The novel resulted in legislation being passed in 1906 with the Pure Food and Drug Act which was a pre-cursor for the Food and Drug Administration to be created. At the time Upton Sinclair was quoted as saying of The Jungle: "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach". In all he published around 90 books and both his library and collection of letters with multiple correspondents are now housed in the Lilly Library at Indiana University. Great authors are also good for one liners, so here is my compilation of 12 of the best Upton Sinclair quotes
- Mini Bio
- Name: Upton Beall Sinclair
- Born: 20th September 1878, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
- Died: 25th November 1968, Bound Brook, New Jersey, U.S.
- Occupation: Author and novelist
- Alma mater: City College of New York and Columbia University
- Marriage resume: Meta Fuller 1900 - 1912), Mary Craig Kimbrough 1913 - 1961 and Mary Elizabeth Willis 1961 - December 1967
- Books: During his 90 years on the planet he authored 90 books
- Genre: His novels served as social protest books giving life to his views on socialism including the eradication of poverty
- Politics: He was a staunch socialist who also ran for the California governorship in 1934 as a Democrat
- Major awards: His 1942 novel Dragon's Teeth was awarded the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for fiction
- Height: 1.7m (5' 7")
- Trivia: To pay for his education and help to support his family he wrote articles for magazines and dime novels for cheap paperback publication
- Quote about Upton Sinclair: The British writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said of him; "I look upon Upton Sinclair as one of the greatest novelists in the world, the Zola of America"
"Fascism is capitalism plus murder"
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it"
"One of the necessary accompaniments of capitalism in a democracy is political corruption"
"I assert that the difference between the ruling class of Germany and that of America is the difference between the seventeenth century and the twentieth"
"All art is propaganda. It is universally and inescapably propaganda; sometimes unconsciously, but often deliberately, propaganda"
"Journalism is one of the devices whereby industrial autocracy keeps its control over political democracy"
"Man is an evasive beast, given to cultivating strange notions about himself"
"I am not a giant physically; I shrink from pain and filth and vermin and foul air, like any other man of refinement"
"I just put on what the lady says. I've been married three times, so I've had lots of supervision"
"I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach"
"What life means to me is to put the content of Shelley into the form of Zola"
"The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label"