Upton Sinclair

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Upton Sinclair "The Pig That Fell into the Privy: Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and the Meat Inspection Amendments of 1906," "Stockyard Secrets," "Meat Inspection Bill Passes Senate," were what the headlines read, and that was only part of it (Essay Questions). With the publication of The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, came a huge response. Written to preach socialism and to attack the capitalist greed, the book explored the hardships experienced by immigrant workers in the Chicago meat packing factories (Food Safety). However, seventeen pages of the book would stand above the rest, as a flag, not to destroy capitalism, but to alter its dimensions (Holte).

Born on September 20, 1878, in Baltimore, Maryland, Sinclair's childhood had an immense impact on his writings (Schoolnet). His parents, Upton Beal Sinclair, Sr. and Priscilla Harden, came from either extremes of economic stature. Priscilla came from a rich family, and his father was a liquor salesman and an alcoholic.

Sinclair's family was very poor, but he would occasionally visit his mother's wealthy parents (Upton Beal Sinclair). Witnessing these extremes, said Sinclair, later turned him into a socialist (Schoolnet).

In 1888, the Sinclair family moved to New York City (Schoolnet). To pay for his studies at New York College, Upton began to write dime novels, ethnic jokes, and hack fiction at the age of 15. After his graduation in 1897, he enrolled in Columbia University, paying his way by producing one 'novelette' per week (Upton Beal Sinclair). Upon entering college, he wanted to become a lawyer, but he first wished to take a year of literature and philosophy. These courses caused him to turn away from the legal world, not knowing the profound influence he would later have on legislation. During his years at the university, he was overwhelmed with publications to be...

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