"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Story of Upton Sinclair

John Wilson of Books and Culture has an excellent article on the socialist American author Upton Sinclair in today's edition of National Review Online.

Sinclair is best-known, of course, for his 1906 novel The Jungle which brought public attention to the unpleasant working conditions in the nation's meat-packing industry.

Wilson's article includes some things I hadn't known or had forgotten, such as Sinclair's authorship of three series of novels centered on adventure. Wilson provides a balanced view of the author and even includes a suitable moral to Sinclair's story:

Unwieldy and imperfect as our democracy may be, Sinclair’s life testifies to the genius and robustness of the American polis. And impervious to irony as he often seemed, I suspect that Sinclair himself came to recognize his good fortune: to live and work for 90 years in a country that honored its principled critics instead of shooting them.

From Karnick on Culture.

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