Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual by Lauren Coodley
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