Upton Sinclair was considered a force of nature -- being not only prolific in his novel-writing but a political force of decided influence.
Love's Pilgrimage by Upton Sinclair. Upton Sinclair presents the story of his imaginary character through the character's own words, from initial giddy hopes to final decline and suicide. Sinclair never lectures in this short sad tale, he simply presents the countless social pressures against creativity and individual freedom as they press against Stirling, dragging down his joyous ambition and his very will to live. I waved my hand towards it. Moneychangers by Upton Sinclair. Title Moneychangers. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public.
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Ah, i poveri gente! This agreeable gentleman from up north came striding quickly, and gave his name over the telephone, and all the Dantones, big and little, heard words which made them sad. Yes, he could come at once; he could leave in half an hour. He wouldn't save much time by flying because he might be delayed in getting a plane. He had his family with him and would drive day and night; his wife would take a turn at the wheel. If all went well, he should reach Washington the next day, certainly by evening; he would send a wire in the morning to report what progress he was making.
Yes, he had coupons for gasoline, and his tires were good. So long! Lanny shook hands all round with his "dago" friends — he didn't call them that, but others in the South did, and meant no harm by it; it was a name, like "Joe" for a soldier, and you grinned when you said it. Lanny promised to come back someday. Then he strode back to the cottage. Laurel wasn't too shocked by the news; she had guessed long ago that her husband was doing some kind of secret work in a grim and terrible war, and that his duties took precedence over love and marriage. They threw their things into suitcases, and the other odds and ends into carton boxes, and stowed them in the trunk of the car.
The baby, asleep, was laid on a pillow in his traveling basket; Agnes Drury, trained nurse and mother's helper, would ride in the rear seat with him and keep watch. The cottage was locked up and the key left with the agent. Northward along the coast, through the bay city of Tampa and beyond. By nightfall they were speeding across the peninsula of Florida, through seemingly endless forests of pine. The road was smoothly paved, and a mile a minute was standard — but you had to watch the shaft of light ahead, for a cow might wander out into the highway, and deer were plentiful, and would stand in the road, dazzled by the glare.
Before midnight the car was speeding up the east coast, along which resorts were strung like beads on a thread. They had been through the usual cycle of boom and bust and then boom again, and now many of the great hotels were turned into military hospitals. The travelers did not stop for meals but ate what they had in the car and bought more the next day. Lanny drove while the others slept, and when daylight came they were in the interior of Georgia, land of red clay and unpainted shacks. Two hounds, chasing a rabbit, dashed madly out of a pine wood, one of them directly under the wheels of the car.
They did not stop; it was another casualty of war. Laurel drove for a while, and her husband slid down in his seat and took a long nap. By midmorning they were in North Carolina, and he sent a telegram saying that he would reach Washington by dinnertime, and that two rooms should be reserved for him. That was necessary, for the city had become the capital of the world, and important businessmen were sleeping in chairs in hotel lobbies, in washrooms, taxicabs, and sometimes on park benches.
They were coming into a district where war industries had been set up, and heavy trucks escorted them, behind and before.
Lanny kept a space in front of him, so that if he were hit in the rear there would be room to slide. The highways of America had been transformed and would never again be the same; nothing in America would be the same, after this dreadful ordeal by battle. As they drove they listened to the radio, familiar voices of men whom they had never seen, telling them the events of the hour and explaining their import. The Japanese were being cleaned out of the Aleutians, and the Americans were holding on desperately at Guadalcanal in the Solomons; the Allies were bombing the island of Pantelleria in the Mediterranean, also various cities in the Ruhr; the Russians and Germans were sparring like two boxers, all along a two-thousand-mile line, and it was a problem which of them would begin the expected major onslaught.
The airwaves echoed with Russian clamor for a second front and their refusal to accept the Mediterranean attack as an equivalent.