Upton Sinclair: Overview

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Author: William J. Heim
Editor: Jim Kamp
Date: 1994
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 767 words

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No American author has produced more writing, had a greater influence on society, and received less serious critical attention than Upton Sinclair. The depository of Sinclair manuscripts, books, and letters at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, weighs more than eight tons. More than 250,000 letters are included in the collection, letters to Shaw, Gandhi, Trotsky, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and countless letters to readers and critics concerning his own work and that of others. The material is available for work that might lead to a reassessment of Sinclair similar to that which the discovery of the Malahide papers brought about in critical opinion concerning James Boswell.

Upton Sinclair wrote on more subjects than we can catalogue; he was interested in extrasensory perception, religion, economics, alcoholism, and much more. He wrote ninety books and many pamphlets, and without his work the social world in which we live would probably lack many of the benefits we take for granted. But of those books, only one, The Jungle, has survived as an American classic, and critics are divided as to whether it is a classic of imaginative literature or a classic work of propaganda. Even the...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1420007443