California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual
University of Nebraska Press 2013
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in BiographyNew Books in HistoryNew Books in JournalismNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network February 1, 2014 Dan Kilbride
Everybody knows the author of The Jungle was Upton Sinclair (or, if they’re a little confused, they might say Sinclair Lewis). As Lauren Coodley shows in her new biography Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual (University of Nebraska Press, 2013), there was a lot more to Upton Sinclair. For one thing, he was the author of nearly eighty books that were not entitled The Jungle. One of those, Dragon’s Teeth (part of the World’s End series), won him the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Sinclair was also a socialist, feminist, anti-communist, dietary reformer, and prohibitionist. And, as Coodley reminds us, he was a prominent celebrity, a born contrarian who took almost as much pleasure at defying his fellow socialists as he did infuriating the rich, powerful, and complacent.