I, candidate for governor: and how I got licked by Upton Sinclair

By Upton Sinclair

The following, reprinted for the 1st time due to the fact its unique e-book, is muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair's vigorous, caustic account of the 1934 election crusade that grew to become California the other way up and nearly received him the governor's mansion.Using his "End Poverty in California" move (more regularly known as EPIC) as a springboard, Sinclair ran for governor as a Democrat, outfitted with a daring plan to finish the melancholy in California by means of taking up idle land and factories and turning them into cooperative ventures for the unemployed. To his shock, millions rallied to the belief, changing what he had assumed will be one other of his utopian schemes right into a mass political move of outstanding dimensions. With a loosely knit association of countless numbers of neighborhood EPIC golf equipment, Sinclair beaten the reasonable Democratic competition to catch the first election. whilst it got here to the final election, despite the fact that, his competition hired powerful crusade strategies: overwhelming media hostility, vicious red-baiting and voter intimidation, high priced soiled tips. the end result used to be a powerful defeat in November.I, Candidate tells the tale of Sinclair's crusade whereas additionally taking pictures the turbulent political temper of the Nineteen Thirties. making use of his trademark muckraking variety, Sinclair exposes the conspiracies of energy that ensured big-money regulate over the media and different robust associations.

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It had almost disappeared in the 1920s, shattered by the split in 1919 that generated the Communist party and battered by the postwar Red Scare and the lingering climate of antiradicalism. The Depres- Page vi sion had reenergized the SP, and Norman Thomas's 1932 presidential campaign had brought the party almost 900,000 votes. But in truth, the left was failing, Sinclair realized, despite the unprecedented opportunity at hand. With capitalism apparently crumbling all around, the American public still feared the term socialism and remained stubbornly wedded to its two old political parties.

Fear had also been resurrected. The road to the primary had been easy; the next two months had a different momentum. While national media turned up the spotlight, Sinclair's campaign met one obstacle after another. The first disappointment came from the White House. Fresh from his primary triumph, Sinclair had left for a cross-country speaking tour to capitalize on the headlines and seek an audience with the president. Roosevelt met with him, but would offer no endorsement, despite Sinclair's efforts to tone down some aspects of his plan.

California, along with the rest of the country, was suffering the greatest economic crisis in its history. The state's unemployment rate had stood at 29 percent when FDR assumed office six months before and had changed only slightly since. The administration's emergency relief spending was finally putting some money into the hands of the unemployed, but hundreds of thousands of Californians were still jobless, and tens of thousands were homeless. The New Deal was not going to solve the crisis, Sinclair was sure.

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