They are as much alike as they are different.

One was the son of a physician and died from alcoholism. The other was born to a liquor salesman and died a teetotaler. They are often confused for one another even though they are unrelated. One once worked for the other one as a janitor.

They were both two of the finest writers in American history and helped shape our laws, our customs and our national identity. Both are loved and hated.

They were American critics and this country gave them plenty of fuel for their fiery prose.

They won the greatest prizes given authors, had numerous best sellers and their books were made into movies.

Together they are Sinclair Squared.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Babbitt Bubble

Only a few literary characters are entries in dictionaries. George Babbitt is one of those. And with the current real estate ruin, babbittry bubbles. Local communities relive the novel in plays like this one.

Socialist Sinclair

We have the recent presidential campaign for yet another spike in interest in Upton Sinclair who proudly wore the socialist label and even ran for governor as a socialist.
He probably would have won the election if a capitalist newspaper owner and the hollywood money interests had not viciously opposed his campaign with rabid dog rhetoric. As our country adopts many of Sinclair's ideals and popularizes his novels (Oil!), a wry smile forms on my lips as I watch the newspaper whose vitriol destroyed Sinclair's campaign slowly swirl down the financial sinkhole. Upton up as capitalism collapses. Upton lives as this article here shows.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's A Sinclair Love Fest!

Upton Sinclair's novel Oil! is out in a new paperback version in stores. Penguin Books has a great new edition available.It is a fab read, the story timeless, with plenty of sex, violence and greed, everything that sells. It's even got religion and rivals today's Hollywood for scandal. The only thing that might turn people off is that the book supports the working poor and they are never popular.

The Guardian calls it forgotten treasure!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Sinclair's Work Is Never Done

It is time to re-read The Jungle. Those meat folks are at it again. Or then there is the cow's perspective compliments of James Agee.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

King Coal 1

Upton Sinclair's Oil! Turns To Blood

On the stage in a new opera and now on the big screen, our Sinclairs are as relevant and as popular as ever.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Modern Muckraker?

This new book about coal gets Upton a mention in The New York Times. But I have news for the Times: Upton already wrote the book on coal.

It's An Elmer Gantry Revival

Perhaps one of Sinclair Lewis' greatest works is now an opera and in Nashville! No, not a Grand Ole Opry but Great New Opera.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Rebel and The Radical

The lives of Sinclair Lewis and Upton Sinclair are as fascinating as any of the characters they created. There are current and well documented biographies including Richard Lingeman's Sinclair Lewis: Rebel From Main Street and Anthony Arthur's Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair. Brian Lamb has the Lingeman interview. Diane Rehm did an hour of radio with Arthur.