Upton Sinclair

Essay by petmydogHigh School, 11th gradeB+, December 2007

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Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland. His family came from the ruined Southern aristocracy. His father, Upton Beall Sinclair, was a liquor salesman and an alcoholic - he drank himself to death. Priscilla Harden, Sinclair's mother, came from a relatively wealthy family - one of her sisters was married to a millionaire. She hated alcohol and did not even drink coffee or tea. The family moved to New York City when Upton was ten, and at fourteen he entered New York City College. He graduated in 1897 and went to Columbia University to study law, but instead became more interested in politics and literature. He never earned a law degree.

Sinclair was a very important individual that did a lot for the reform. He exposed the dirty practices of the meat industry to the public and gained most of his fame through that. Sinclair absorbed himself in the community of these people and his muckraking exposed the details and the shocking methods employed in procuring 'Grade A’ meat products.

This was very important because it led to Meat Inspection Act (1906).and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Sinclair had personally sent a copy of his book to then American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. All this was meant to scary the nation of how cruel capitalism can be. The message he tried to get across was not exactly the same but it worked. It grabbed everyone’s attention.

There were also many successes in the life of Upton Sinclair. Sinclair won the Pulitzer Prize in 1943 for his novel Dragon's Teeth (1942) about the Nazi takeover of Germany. It is the third of eleven novels in Sinclair's World's End series following globe-trotter Lanny Budd and his adventures. In 1904 Fred Warren, the editor of the socialist journal,