Lauren CoodleyUpton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual

University of Nebraska Press, 2013

by Dan Kilbride on February 1, 2014

Lauren Coodley

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Everybody knows the author of The Jungle was Upton Sinclair (or, if they’re a little confused, they might say Sinclair Lewis). As Lauren Coodley shows in her new biography Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual (University of Nebraska Press, 2013), there was a lot more to Upton Sinclair. For one thing, he was the author of nearly eighty books that were not entitled The Jungle. One of those, Dragon’s Teeth (part of the World’s End series), won him the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Sinclair was also a socialist, feminist, anti-communist, dietary reformer, and prohibitionist. And, as Coodley reminds us, he was a prominent celebrity, a born contrarian who took almost as much pleasure at defying his fellow socialists as he did infuriating the rich, powerful, and complacent.

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Douglas Murray February 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Great interview and great book. I read the Sinclair book last fall and I consider it one of the best reads of the past year. I particularly liked the author’s feminist approach to the wonderful character that was Upton Sinclair, as much for Coodley’s subtlety as her insight. Kudos to both interviewer and author.

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