|Tags:||fiction, politics, film/TV adaptation, socialism|
“Oil!” was to the California oil boom what “The Jungle” was to the Chicago stockyards: a chance for Sinclair to present, as he quipped, human nature laid bare. The first major American novel on the oil industry, this minor epic is a hard-nosed, hard-hitting docket of corporate machinations, in striking ways describing the United States during the Jazz Age. The Harding administration and the Teapot Dome scandals were the direct catalysts for Sinclair’s reformist passion, and his exposé of bribery, corruption, appalling industrial practices, and dog-eat-dog economic warfare. However, unlike the unremitting squalor of Packingtown and its wage slaves, “Oil!” is set in sunny, breezy Southern California and narrated in a brisk and lively style punctuated up by the Roaring Twenties slang and jitterbug energy.—eNotes.com. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Sinclair, Upton
Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) was an American activist writer whose involvement with socialism led to a writing assignment about the plight of workers in the meatpacking industry, eventually resulting in the best-selling 1906 novel The Jungle. During the 1920’s, his novels fared far better than his unsuccessful political ventures of running for Congress on the Socialist Party ticket and the founding of the California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, with the 1927 publication of Oil! about the Teapot Dome scandal; and the 1928 publication of Boston about the Sacco and Vanzetti case. Eighty years after it appeared in print, Oil! would be made into the Academy Award-winning film There Will Be Blood. Sinclair later changed his political affiliation and ran unsuccessfully as the Democrat Party candidate for California governor in 1934.
In 1940, Sinclair published the historical novel World’s End. It was the first of what would be 11 books in the “Lanny Budd” series, named for the protagonist who somehow manages to be present at all of the most significant world events in the early 20th century. The 1942 installment in the series, Dragon’s Teeth, which explores the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism in Germany, earned Sinclair the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Source: biography.com, Wikipedia
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