Upton Sinclair (September 20, 1878 - November 25, 1968) was a prolific American author who wrote over 90 books in many genres, often advocating socialist views, and achieved considerable popularity in the first half of the twentieth century. He gained particular fame for his novel, The Jungle (1906), which dealt with conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry and caused a public uproar that ultimately led to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act in 1906.
However, the main point of The Jungle was lost on the public, overshadowed by his descriptions of unsanitary conditions in the packing plants. The public health concerns dealt with in The Jungle are actually far less significant than the human tragedy lived by his main character and other workers in the plants. His main goal for the book was to demonstrate the inhuman conditions of the wage earner under capitalism, not to inspire public health reforms in how the packing was done. Indeed, Sinclair lamented the effect of his book and the public uproar that resulted: "I aimed at their hearts, and hit their stomachs." Still, the fame and fortune he gained from publishing The Jungle enabled him to write books on almost every issue of social injustice in the 20th century.