Publish Your Own Book: History of Upton Sinclair and The Jungle

About the famous writer Upton Sinclair who self-published the book The Jungle, history and information.

Publish Your Own Book

Too much "blood and guts" a commercial house said when rejecting Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. The author refused to compromise and, after 5 rejections, reported: "I was raging and determined to publish it myself."

Jack London contributed a manifesto calling on the socialist movement in New York to rally to the novel, which he termed "an Uncle Tom's Cabin of wage slavery. It is alive and warm. It is brutal with life. It is written of sweat and blood, and groans and tears."

Sinclair ran a prepublication subscription for The Jungle and, at $1.20 per copy, raised $4,000, more money than he had earned in his 1st 5 years of writing. The novel was in type, waiting for the press to roll, when Doubleday and Page happened along in 1906 and offered to publish a simultaneous edition.

Sinclair didn't appreciate the reactionary ideas of Henry Ford. When Ford's plants were struck by the CIO in 1937 and Ford refused to bargain with the union, Sinclair reached an agreement with the union leaders and had his Hammond, Ind., printers do 200,000 copies of his novel about Ford, The Flivver King. Soon striking Ford workers all over the world were carrying the green paperback novel in their back pockets, much to Ford's disgust.

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