Anthony Arthur– “Changing America: Upton Sinclair Style”

Posted on November 23rd, 2023 in American History,Politics by Ignacio Ayala

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Originally Broadcast: September 6, 2006
Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair

Since I was young, I have been intrigued by the work of Upton Sinclair. I remember as a boy hearing about Sinclair’s books and efforts to change the world. A close friend of my family was the writer for Sinclair’s campaign newspaper, when he ran for governor of California in 1934 and, although that was long before I was born, the stories rolled during his later visits. Sinclair is perhaps best know for, “The Jungle,” published in 1906, which openly revealed the inhumane conditions of the Chicago stockyards and how the meatpacking industry operated, resulting in the passage of the pure food and drug laws within months after the books publication.

“Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair,” is a biography written by retired professor Anthony Arthur, released in June 2006, 100 years after the publication of, “The Jungle,” and tells the story of Upton Sinclair’s life and work. Arthur weaves the strands of Sinclair’s contentious public career and his often-troubled private life, which Sinclair at times willingly revealed, into a compelling personal narrative. Anthony Arthur rates integrity as Sinclair’s greatest strength, and claims his eloquence in writing and speech, along with his reputation for selflessness as the basis of a ground swell of support for Sinclair and his ideas. When I spoke with Professor Anthony Arthur at the end of August 2006, from his home near Los Angeles, California, he began by describing what attracted him to study and write about Upton Sinclair.

Anthony Arthur recommends, “Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph,” by T.E. Lawrence.

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