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Upton Sinclair

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Upton Sinclair Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 20th, 1878. His family came from the ruined southern aristocracy. His father, Upton Beall Sinclair, Sr., was an alcoholic and a liquor salesman. That was an obvious setback to his relationship with his son. In contrast, Sinclair Jr.'s mother, Priscilla, came from a relatively wealthy family (one of her sisters was married to a millionaire). She couldn't stand liquor and didn't even drink coffee or tea. When Upton was ten, his father moved them to New York City, where Sinclair Sr. spent his days selling hats and his nights in the bar. Books were Upton's only real comfort. He began writing dime novels at the age of 15. This was how he financed his studies at New York City College. At age 19, he enrolled at Columbia University, determined to succeed no matter what the cost. ...read more.


The first book, Manassas, was about a young southern man who joined the Union army and is involved in the battle of Manassas. Even though the book received good marks from critics, Manassas did not sell very well at all, so he decided not to write the other two books. His most famous book, The Jungle, was written in 1906, after more than 3 months of research on the Chicago meatpacking industry. In the book Jurgis Rudkus, a young Lithuanian immigrant, comes to America with high hopes of prosperity, fame and fortune. He gets a job at a meatpacking factory, and loves his work. However, he's stumped about why his co-workers don't love it too. Gradually, Jurgis' worldview fades in the hopeless "wage-slavery" and the chaos of urban life. He loses his job when he beats up his boss, because he raped Jurgis' wife. ...read more.


As a candidate for governor, he thought of a reform movement called EPIC - End Poverty In California - and outlined it all in a book called I, Governor of California And How I Ended Poverty: A True Story of the Future. Following the election, he wrote and published a book called I, Candidate for Governor and How I Got Licked. In 1953 Sinclair and his second wife, Mary Craig Kimbrough, moved to the remote Arizona village of Buckeye, where his wife died in 1961, and where his third wife died in 1967. Throughout his life, he was known to be careless about his appearance - his wife once complained that in their almost 50-year marriage, he only bought himself one suit! Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. died on November 25, 1968, in Buckeye, Arizona, having left his mark on the world. 1 Novelette - A piece of literature intermediate in length, and having a complexity level between a short story and a novel ...read more.

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