50 Best Upton Sinclair Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. was an American writer who wrote nearly 100 books and other works in several genres. Sinclair’s work was well known and popular in the first half of the 20th century, and he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943. Inspirational Upton Sinclair quotes will brighten up your day and make you feel ready to take on anything.

Famous Upton Sinclair Quotes

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. – Upton Sinclair

I just put on what the lady says. I’ve been married three times, so I’ve had lots of supervision. – Upton Sinclair

It is foolish to be convinced without evidence, but it is equally foolish to refuse to be convinced by real evidence. – Upton Sinclair

American journalism is a class institution, serving the rich and spurning the poor. – Upton Sinclair

Can you blame me if I am pursued by the thought of how much we could do to remedy social evils, if only we had an honest and disinterested press? – Upton Sinclair

So, the laws of good driving forbade you to go off the magic ribbon except in extreme emergencies. You were ethically entitled to several inches of margin at the right-hand edge; and the man approaching you was entitled to an equal number of inches; which left a remainder of inches between the two projectiles as they shot by. It sounds risky as one tells it, but the heavens are run on the basis of similar calculations, and while collisions do happen, they leave time enough in between for universes to be formed, and successful careers conducted by men of affairs. – Upton Sinclair

In the twilight, it was a vision of power. – Upton Sinclair

They use everything about the hog except the squeal. – Upton Sinclair

All day long this man would toil thus, his whole being centered upon the purpose of making twenty-three instead of twenty-two and a half cents an hour; and then his product would be reckoned up by the census taker, and jubilant captains of industry would boast of it in their banquet halls, telling how our workers are nearly twice as efficient as those of any other country. If we are the greatest nation the sun ever shone upon, it would seem to be mainly because we have been able to goad our wage-earners to this pitch of frenzy. – Upton Sinclair

They were the triumphant and insolent possessors; they had a hall, and a fire, and food and clothing and money, and so they might preach to hungry men, and the hungry men must be humble and listen. They were trying to save their souls- and who but a fool could fail to see that all that was the matter with their souls was that they had not managed to get a decent existence for their bodies? – Upton Sinclair

The old wanderlust had gotten into his blood, the joy of the unbound life, the joy of seeking, of hoping without limit. – Upton Sinclair

I am sustained by a sense of the worthwhileness of what I am doing; a trust in the good faith of the process which created and sustains me. That process I call God. – Upton Sinclair

It was all so very businesslike that one watched it fascinated. It was pork-making by machinery, pork-making by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the hogs; they were so innocent; they came so very trustingly; and they were so very human in their protests – and so perfectly within their rights! They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without pretence at apology, without the homage of a tear. – Upton Sinclair

In a society dominated by the fact of commercial competition, money is necessarily the test of prowess, and wastefulness the sole criterion of power. – Upton Sinclair

And as for other men, who worked in tank-rooms full of steam, and in some of which there were open vats near the level of the floor, their peculiar trouble was that they fell into the vats; and when they were fished out, there was never enough of them left to be worth exhibiting,-sometimes they would be overlooked for days, till all but the bones of them had gone out into the world as Durham’s Pure Leaf Lard! This contributed to the passing of the Pure Food Act of 1906. – Upton Sinclair

Over the vast plain I wander, observing a thousand strange and incredible and terrifying manifestations of the Bootstrap-lifting impulse. – Upton Sinclair

We define journalism in America as the business and practice of presenting the news of the day in the interest of economic privilege. – Upton Sinclair

Dad, as a good American, believed his newspapers. – Upton Sinclair

I have not only found good health, but perfect health; I have found a new state of being, a potentiality of life; a sense of lightness and cleanness and joyfulness, such as I did not know could exist in the human body. – Upton Sinclair

The proletarian writer is a writer with a purpose; he thinks no more of art for art’s sake than a man on a sinking ship thinks of painting a beautiful picture in the cabin; he thinks of getting ashore – and then there will be time enough for art. – Upton Sinclair

A large section of the idling classes of England get their incomes by believing that Jesus was born of a virgin and that Jonah swallowed a whale; and with the progress of science they were naturally finding this more and more difficult. A school of ingenious Bible-twisters arose, to invent symbolical and literary meanings for fairy tales, in order that people who no longer believed could continue with good conscience to collect the salaries of belief. – Upton Sinclair

An event of colossal and overwhelming significance may happen all at once, but the words which describe it have to come one by one in a long chain. – Upton Sinclair

But the devil is a subtle worm; he does not give up at one defeat, for he knows human nature, and the strength of the forces which battle for him. – Upton Sinclair

The first thing brought forth by the study of any religion, ancient or modern, is that it is based upon Fear, born of it, fed by it — and that it cultivates the source from which its nourishment is derived. – Upton Sinclair

It is the music which makes it what it is; it is the music which changes the place from the rear room of a saloon in back of the yards to a fairy place, a wonderland, a little comer of the high mansions of the sky. – Upton Sinclair

Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid. – Upton Sinclair

There are a score of great religions in the world, each with scores or hundreds of sects, each with its priestly orders, its complicated creed and ritual, its heavens and hells. Each has its thousands or millions or hundreds of millions of true believers each damns all the others with more or less heartiness – and each is a mighty fortress of graft. – Upton Sinclair

You don’t have to be satisfied with America as you find it. You can change it. I didn’t like the way I found America some sixty years ago, and I’ve been trying to change it ever since. – Upton Sinclair

Journalism is one of the devices whereby industrial autocracy keeps its control over political democracy; it is the day-by-day, between-elections propaganda, whereby the minds of the people are kept in a state of acquiescence, so that when the crisis of an election comes, they go to the polls and cast their ballots for either one of the two candidates of their exploiters. – Upton Sinclair

I don’t know whether anyone will care to examine my heart, but if they do, they will find two words there- ‘social justice.’ For that is what I have believed in and fought for. – Upton Sinclair

The American People will take Socialism, but they won’t take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC [End Poverty in California]. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to ‘End Poverty in California’ I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them. – Upton Sinclair

One of the necessary accompaniments of capitalism in a democracy is political corruption. – Upton Sinclair

I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach. – Upton Sinclair

The private control of credit is the modern form of slavery. – Upton Sinclair

You can’t make somebody understand something if their salary depends upon them not understanding it. – Upton Sinclair

Fascism is capitalism plus murder. – Upton Sinclair

Into this wild-beast tangle these men had been born without their consent, they had taken part in it because they could not help it; that they were in jail was no disgrace to them, for the game had never been fair, the dice were loaded. They were swindlers and thieves of pennies and dimes, and they had been trapped and put out of the way by the swindlers and thieves of millions of dollars. – Upton Sinclair

The supreme crime of the church to-day is that everywhere and in all its operations and influences it is on the side of sloth of mind; that it banishes brains, it sanctifies stupidity, it canonizes incompetence. – Upton Sinclair

All truly great art is optimistic. The individual artist is happy in his creative work. The fact that practically all great art is tragic does not in any way change the above thesis. – Upton Sinclair

Consider Christmas – could Satan in his most malignant mood have devised a worse combination of graft plus bunkum than the system whereby several hundred million people get a billion or so gifts for which they have no use, and some thousands of shop clerks die of exhaustion while selling them, and every other child in the Western world is made ill from overeating – all in the name of the lowly Jesus? – Upton Sinclair

Pessimism is mental disease. It means illness in the person who voices it, and in the society which produces that person. – Upton Sinclair

The remedy [for the Great Depression] is to give the workers access to the means of production, and let them produce for themselves, not for others, the American way. – Upton Sinclair

There is one kind of prison where the man is behind bars, and everything that he desires is outside; and there is another kind where the things are behind the bars, and the man is outside. – Upton Sinclair

Man is an evasive beast, given to cultivating strange notions about himself. – Upton Sinclair

But I have a conscience and a religious faith, and I know that our liberties were not won without suffering, and may be lost again through our cowardice. I intend to do my duty to my country. – Upton Sinclair

If we are the greatest nation the sun ever shone upon, it would seem to be mainly because we have been able to goad our wage-earners to this pitch of frenzy. – Upton Sinclair

All art is propaganda. It is universally and inescabably propaganda; sometimes unconsciously, but often deliberately, propaganda. – Upton Sinclair

Human beings suffer agonies, and their sad fates become legends; poets write verses about them and playwrights compose dramas, and the remembrance of past grief becomes a source of present pleasure – such is the strange alchemy of the spirit. – Upton Sinclair

If is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it – Upton Sinclair

Through fasting I have found a perfect health, a new state of existence, a feeling of purity and happiness, something unknown to humans. – Upton Sinclair

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