Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual by Lauren Coodley

Subject: Journalism, Socialism, Worker's Rights
Themes: Food & Health Worker's Rights Religion and Society Economics and Business 20th Century Journalism and Media
Age groups: High School

Scholar Lauren Coodley's biography, Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual, opens up Sinclair's life as never before, revealing a great deal about his belief in equal rights and opportunities for women. Some reviews are quoted below. Read others at Lauren Coodley's website, where you can also learn more about the author. Click here to order your copy at Powell's City of Books.

Lauren Coodley is a historian specializing in gender, labor, and locale. She is the editor of The Land of Orange Groves and Jails: Upton Sinclair's California and the author of three books on local history, as well as California: A Multicultural Documentary History. She also wrote the biography of Upton Sinclair that appears on the AWTT website.

REVIEWS of Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual

From History News Network: "In this book, [Coodley] not only does a superb job of pulling together the many strands of Sinclair's remarkable life and influence, but demonstrates what previous biographers have largely ignored: Sinclair's feminism."

From Booklist: *Starred Review* If Upton Sinclair had never written a word beyond The Jungle, his stellar reputation would still be safe. The 1906 publication of this revolutionary novel exposing the horrors of the U.S. meat-packing industry led to sweeping food-safety laws and is still widely read today in high-school English classes. Yet, as historian Coodley emphasizes in this reverent and perceptive biography, Sinclair wrote prolifically and broadly in a variety of forms throughout his entire life, beginning with dime novels in his teens onto essays, plays, and film scripts. His novel, Dragon's Teeth, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1943. Apart from Sinclair's literary oeuvre, he was a tireless crusader for the rights of factory workers, coal miners, and women. While taking the full measure of Sinclair's very active life, from his Baltimore childhood to his three marriages, the last in his eighties, Coodley reveals many surprising details, including his friendships with Henry Ford and Jane Addams and his near-miss election bid for California governor. Coodley's compelling (if, at times, academic) biography is an invaluable look at Sinclair's full life and influential work and how much his long battle against worker oppression remains relevant in today's corporate and media-driven world. --Carl Hays

"Thoroughly engaging."—Kirkus
(Kirkus 2013-07-01)

"Coodley's biography should renew interest in the works of this passionate writer."—Publishers Weekly
(Publishers Weekly)

"An invaluable look at Sinclair's full life and influential work."—Carl Hays, Booklist
(Carl Hays Booklist 2013-09-15)

"A rounded, insightful sense of Sinclair and his times."—Historical Novel Society
(Historical Novel Society 2013-11-01)

"This new biography goes beyond the usual focus on Sinclair's literary prowess to examine the extent of his entire life and his influence on California and American civil and social rights, and fills in gaps narrower focuses have created in the past."—James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review
(James A. Cox Midwest Book Review)

"Upton Sinclair is an asset for those beginning to impose order on the real-life and imagined women who help constitute Sinclair's legacy."—Laura Hapke, Working USA:The Journal of Labor and Society
(Laura Hapke Working USA:The Journal of Labor and Society 2014-03-12)