Thursday, March 5, 2015

FDR and Upton Sinclair

(Upton Sinclair, by Lauren Coodley. Image scanned from a personal copy.)

When Upton Sinclair was running for governor of California in 1934 he met with President Franklin Roosevelt to discuss many policy issues. Sinclair was hoping for some political support from FDR but, ultimately, received little. Still, Sinclair retained a "deep respect" for the president and when FDR died in 1945 he wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, "We have lost the greatest statesman of our time and it is a personal loss to every man and woman in this country whether they know it or not." (Lauren Coodley, Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual, Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2013, pp. 118-119, 128-129, and 149)

Coodley's book is a well-cited and highly-readable account of Sinclair's life - highlighting his prolific writing, the evolution of his political views, his many friendships with women, and much more. It not only adds to the literature on Sinclair (e.g., by examining his life in relation to feminism) but, at 181 pages, is very digestible for those not already familiar with Sinclair's life, such as myself. The book includes a number of photos & images and also a recommended reading list of Sinclair's works. I have never read any of Sinclair's writing but Coodley's book inspires me to try at least one.   

Among the many places Coodley's book can be purchased is the "Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse":

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