OF REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA  - Founded 24 January 1895

4:00 P.M., October 19, 2000

Going Negative: The Smear Campaign
Against Upton Sinclair

Sinclair.jpg (21955 bytes)

by Donald L. Singer Ph.D.

Assembly Room, A. K. Smiley Public Library

Biography of the Author

Donald L. Singer received four degrees from the University of Southern California:  B. A. (with honors);  M.S. in Education;   M.A. in History;  and Ph.D. in Higher Education.

His professional experience was in public education, serving as a teacher in the public schools of Los Angeles, a professor in a number of community colleges in Southern California, and as an administrator in community colleges.  For the last 15 years of his professional life, he served as president of the two colleges in the San Bernardino Community College District:  Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College.  He also served as a part-time lecturer at California State University at Long Beach and the University of Redlands.

His professional associations include membership in the:  Association of California Community College Administrators;  the Organization of American Historians;  and the Board of Directors of the California Community Colleges Chief Executive Officers.

In the community his activities include:  member of the Board of Directors of Temple Emanuel;  member of the Board of Directors of Redlands Community Hospital;  President of the United Way of the East Valley;  member of the Board of Directors of San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce;  and, member of the Board of Trustees of St. Bernadine Medical Center Foundation.

He has written a number of papers for professional journals, and has delivered papers before a number of civic and professional groups.

He is married to Joanne and they have three adult children:  Larry, Beth Sassower, and Jennifer.

Following his retirement from the presidency of San Bernardino Valley College, he became the President/CEO of Inland Action, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to the economic development and betterment of the quality of life in the Inland Empire.

Introduction and Summary

As I write these words the country is engaged in one of its quadrennial circuses:   the campaign for the presidency of the United States.

While hundreds of millions of dollars will have been spent by the time election day rolls around on getting out the message of the candidates, many members of the press, the public and some of the pundits have said that, in comparison to campaigns of the past, too little time will have been spent on issues and much too much time will have been spent on attacking one’s opponent.  In addition, articles have been written and television pieces screened which indicate that the 30 second “sound bites” in commercials and attacks on one candidate or the other by the media are somewhat new and that in days of yore candidates campaigned strictly on the issues and did not use the media of the day to smear their opponent.

While it cannot be said with any certainty as to when the media were first used in an unethical and untruthful way to attack political adversaries, this paper is the case history of a major political campaign which changed the nature and role of a fairly new medium—motion pictures—in campaigning and also showed how newspapers can use and be used by politicians to create false pictures of a candidate.

In addition, political consultants, which are ubiquitous in today’s campaigns (to the extent that some would say they run campaigns rather than simply consult) came to the fore in the campaign which I will describe.  The result of their success in this campaign led to the rise of consultants in California and hence to the rise of political consultants across the nation.

Thus this campaign is not only interesting in itself but can be seen as a precursor to the campaigns and campaigning of the late 20th and 21st centuries.

Going Negative: The Smear Campaign
Against Upton Sinclair

by Donald L. Singer Ph.D.

One evening in August, 1933, Upton Sinclair, writer and lifelong Socialist, made an appearance before five members of the Sixtieth Assembly District delegation of the Los Angeles Democratic Central Committee.  The “most unusual and bizarre gubernatorial campaign in California’s colorful political history” had its beginning at that small meeting.

The meeting was called by a Mr. Gilbert F. Stevenson of Santa Monica, chairman of the Assembly District delegation and a one-time owner of the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.  Mr. Stevenson was now penniless and had come to the conclusion that the only person who could save California from itself was Upton Sinclair.  He thereupon wrote a letter to Sinclair and urged him to come to a meeting where Stevenson’s ideas could be presented to others of a like mind.

At the meeting, Stevenson, who later became disillusioned with Sinclair and became a devout believer in the notorious Protocol of the Elders of Zion, stated:

It is evident that the next Governor of California will either be a Republican or Democrat.    The Republicans will probably put up a complete reactionary, and he will be elected.  It is our hope that Upton Sinclair will register as a Democrat and stand as a candidate at the Democratic primaries, with a definite program which the people will understand.  If he does this, he will get the votes of all forward looking elements in the Democratic party, especially the young people.    I am confident that Sinclair would sweep the primaries, and if so, would be elected.

Sinclair was duly impressed by Mr. Stevenson’s address and told the group that he had a specific plan in mind as to how California might be saved and went on to detail his “two year plan for California.”  There was general discussion concerning the plan and, much to Sinclair’s surprise, everyone in the room expressed complete approval of it.

He then told the assemblage:

If I am your candidate for Governor, it will be for the purpose of putting my two-year plan across.    Let me make it plain that being Governor means nothing to me personally.  I do not need fame … I do not need money … but I cannot enjoy the comforts of home … while I know that there are millions of others around me suffering for lack of the common necessities.

He proposed the slogan END POVERTY IN CALIFORNIA and suggested the bee as an emblem expressive of useful labor with the motto, “I produce, I defend.”   One of the members pointed out that the initials of the slogan spelled EPIC and these initials were heartily seized upon as a good name for the plan.

Before going into the details of the EPIC campaign, let us take a look at the life of the “father of the EPIC movement.”

Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 20, 1878.   He came from a long line of naval officers of the old South, many of whom participated in the Civil War in the Confederate Navy.   His father was a wholesale liquor salesman whose fondness for his product constantly overwhelmed him.  Upton loved his father dearly, but his father’s constant bouts with John Barley-corn made Upton a violent prohibitionist in later life.

His mother’s family, the Hardens, were people of means and were constantly helping his parents.    This being forced to accept from others the needs of life embittered Sinclair and was one of the main reasons why a conventional Southern family produced a social rebel.  In discussion this anomaly with his biographer, Floyd Dell, Sinclair said that “I thought the problem over and reported my psychology as that of a poor relation.  It had been my fate from earliest childhood to live in the presence of wealth which belonged to others.”

In 1888 the family moved to New York City and, at the age of thirteen, Sinclair entered the College of the City of New York, from which he was graduated in 1897 “comfortably near the bottom of the class.”

He then registered for graduate work at Columbia University intent upon obtaining his law degree.    He later changed his classification to that of “special student” and aimed at a Master’s degree.  Discovering that he had a flair for writing, he was signed by Street and Smith, the five-cent pulp publishers and was soon turning out fifty-six thousand words a week for them.  By the end of his twenty-first year, he asserts, he had written as much as Sir Walter Scott had in his entire lifetime.

At the age of twenty-one he married and a year later a son was born.   During the next three years Sinclair wrote three novels, none of which were financially successful.  During this period he really learned to know the struggles of poverty and was able to keep the wolf from the family door only by taking odd jobs.

During the preparation of Manassas, a novel of the Civil War, a very important thing happened:  he discovered Socialism.  He was already philosophically and psychologically prepared; he had only to change his genesis to economic determinism and to concentrate upon modern wage-slavery instead of past chattel slavery.     Sinclair has said that “it was like the falling down of prison walls about my mind.”

Sinclair’s rise to fame came with the publishing of The Jungle, a book that described the horrible conditions in the stockyards of “Packingtons” (Chicago).  He avers that his real purpose in writing the novel was to expose the exploitation of the workers in the meatpacking industry, but, as he said later, “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”  Nevertheless, the book was favorably reviewed both in America and in England.  In the latter country a young journalist by the name of Winston Churchill highly praised it, while in this country fame and fortune (thirty thousand dollars in royalties the first year) greeted the author.

The money went into the founding of a cooperative home colony, Helicon Hall, in Englewood, New Jersey.  Although the building was destroyed by fire in 1907, the idea of cooperative living stayed with Sinclair and, in fact, was a part of his EPIC campaign.

Turning out at least one book a year, Sinclair wrote nine novels between 1907 and the outbreak of World War I.  None of these, however, met with the financial and artistic success, which The Jungle enjoyed.

Wanting to obtain a divorce from his wife and denied such by the laws of New York State, Sinclair went to Europe in 1913 and managed to obtain a divorce in Holland.  That same year he married an old friend, Mary Craig Kimbrough, herself a writer imbued with a yearning for social justice.  Craig, as Sinclair habitually called her, died in 1961, and later that year Sinclair married Cathleen Armour, sister of the noted Scripps College professor and humorist, Richard Armour.

During the first World War Sinclair deserted his Socialist comrades and strongly supported the Allied cause.  After the war, in support of the proposed League of Nations, he founded his own monthly magazine, Upton Sinclair, which he published from April, 1918 to February, 1919.

As the 1920’s wore on, Sinclair became increasingly disgusted with the affairs of state and wrote a number of  “great pamphlets,” which pointed out how capitalism was slowly corrupting all of society.  The Profits of Religion revealed religion to be a tool of wealthy capitalists, while The Brass Check exposed the way in which American journalism had prostituted itself before business enterprise to the sacrifice of justice and truth.  The Goose-Step and The Goslings purport to show how both higher and lower education is controlled in the interest of Big Business.

Incensed at the way civil liberties were being violated in Los Angeles, Sinclair, then a resident of Pasadena, decided to test certain trespass laws and thus the night of November 17, 1923, was him on the top of a hill in San Pedro reading two passages from the U. S. Constitution.  Even though he was on private property and had the written permission of the owner, Louis Oakes, the Chief of Police of Los Angeles arrested Sinclair and charged him with “discussing … certain theories … which were detrimental … to the orderly conduct of affairs of business.”

The next year the Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union was formed and Sinclair was one of the founders.

His next two novels dealt with two of the greatest controversial issues of the time:  the Sacco-Venzetti case and prohibition.  Boston was a defense of the two men, and The Wet Parade told of the horrors of “social drinking.”

A year before he ran for Governor of California he wrote Upton Sinclair Presents William Fox, which attempted to show how the originator of Fox Films and one of filmdom’s charter members was deliberately ruined by Wall Street financiers.   That same year he wrote Letters to Judd and The Way Out, two books that prophesied a Socialist America.

Despite having written forty-five books between the years 1901 and 1933, Mr. Sinclair found time to be a candidate for public office on five different occasions during that period.  In 1906 he had been a candidate for Congress from New Jersey; fourteen years later he offered himself for the same office in California.  In 1922 he campaigned for a seat in the United States Senate and garnered 50,323 votes.  In 1926 and again in 1930 he ran for the office of governor of the State of California, getting 45,972 votes in the former election and 50,840 in the latter.

In all the aforementioned elections Sinclair had run on the Socialist ticket.  Yet, before beginning his campaign for the governorship, he went down to the Beverly Hills city hall and changed his registration to Democratic.

The question immediately arises:  had this man who had fought a thousand crusades “sold out?”   The writer thinks not.  He feels that the program put forth by Sinclair in the ensuing campaign refutes the idea that Sinclair had given up on Socialism.  Sinclair himself said that he feared for the salvation of America and felt that by 1935, if things were not changed, America would become a Fascist state.   He knew that, to the average person, Socialism was an alien movement which expressed itself in words, slogans, and ideas that were difficult, unreal, and foreign to Americans.  Socialism predicated itself upon the working-class, but in America and especially in California, Sinclair admitted, there was very little working-class mentality.

As to the propriety of using a Democratic platform to put Socialist ideas into effect, the author indicated that:

I am a Democrat by the same right that makes us Americans either Republicans or Democrats—I was born one.  If by the name Democrat you mean an advocate of the right of the people to manage their own affairs, then I am still the Democrat I was born.

The writer feels that Sinclair’s final statement as to why he changed his registration showed more political acumen than it did dedication to principle:

Fifty per cent of the people are going to vote a certain ticket because their grandfathers voted that ticket.  In order to get anywhere, it is necessary to have a party which has grandfathers.

Could this Socialist interloper hope to “capture” one of the two major parties in such a large state as California?  The answer was definitely in the affirmative.  Up to that time California had always been known as a Republic state, with Republicans always having had a majority of the registered voters.  In addition, the Republicans had won every gubernatorial election since 1894.

As equally important as past performance was the present leadership of the Democratic Party.  Its leaders were elder statesmen who had managed its affairs for thirty years or more and were more concerned; it seemed, with winning internal fights than in winning general elections.  The Catholic group was headed by Justus Wardell, a stock-and-bond dealer of San Francisco, who had supported Al Smith in the 1928 presidential campaign.     Wardell, described as a “wheel-horse politician,” kept the Democratic Party alive in California during the 1920’s and felt that he now deserved a chance to be its standard bearer in the upcoming gubernatorial campaign.

The McAdoo group was headed by William Gibbs McAdoo, Woodrow Wilson’s son-in-law and United States Senator, and Isadore Dockweiler, attorney for the Southern Pacific Railroad and father of a California Congressman.

Thus Mr. Stevenson, Sinclair’s Santa Monica supporter, spoke for many people when he asserted that Sinclair could win the gubernatorial election if he offered a program that was drastically different from that offered by the opposition.     Though fuzzy on money matters, Stevenson accurately foresaw that a radical plan would appeal to those discontented and disheartened people who were being harassed by the depression.  Writing near the end of the campaign, Walter Davenport remarked, “People, who five years before would as soon have voted for Satan as Sinclair or any other Socialist, are flocking to Sinclair’s banner.”  Attempting to analyze Sinclair’s strength, Turner Catledge, a reporter for the New York Times, wrote:

Making up the fountain source of this newest disruption to California’s peace are the God-fearing, pure American and economically dispossessed thousands in Southern California.  It’s the small entrepreneur, the widow, and small-property owner…who have flocked to Sinclair’s banner.

A final reason as to the possibility of Sinclair’s capturing the Democratic nomination and then winning the final election can be found in the social climate then prevalent in this state.  The Nation expertly summed up the situation:

If ever a revolution was due it was due in California.  Nowhere else has a battle between labor and capital been so widespread and bitter, and the casualties so large; nowhere else has there been such a flagrant denial of the personal liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights; nowhere else has authority been so lawless and brazen; nowhere else has the brute force of capitalism been so openly used and displayed; nowhere else has labor been so oppressed; nowhere else has there been a falser or more poisoned and poisoning press.  It was time for some sign of rebellion.

After changing his registration, Sinclair started his campaign.  As befits an author, he wrote a book, I, Governor of California and How I Ended Poverty:  A True Story of the Future.  In this narrative Sinclair wrote about his nomination, his victory, and his triumphant execution of the EPIC program.  He also laid down the general principles of EPIC and spelled out these principles in great detail.

It was from the sale of I, Governor of California and other pamphlets which Sinclair wrote during the course of the campaign that the campaign was financed.   By Election Day 200,000 copies of I, Governor of California had been sold.  In addition to this work Sinclair wrote two other tracts:  The Lie Factory Starts, a collection of letters which Sinclair had written to newspaper editors and which reflected the charges hurled at Sinclair and EPIC, and Immediate Epic, which was issued just after the primary campaign and set forth some changes in the original EPIC plan.  Fifty thousand copies of the former pamphlet were printed and 65,000 copies of the latter were sold.  From the sale of all three works $20,000 was realized.

Toward the end of December, 1933, the first issue of the campaign newspaper, End Poverty, made its appearance.

To edit this newssheet the Sinclair forces chose a gentleman who had been a reporter for, and political editor of the Los Angeles Record, a Scripps-Howard newspaper, from 1918 to 1932.  Reuben Borough became not only editor but circulation manager as well, and performed the latter function so well that the five final editions of the weekly newspaper each had a circulation of more than one million, with the final edition reaching the two million mark.

While the general format of the paper remained the same throughout the state, special editions were put out for different localities.  In the remote and less thoroughly activated assembly districts these special editions ran between five and ten thousand copies, but in many areas of Southern California they went up to fifty thousand or more.  Under this plan the Epic News achieved a free distribution throughout large areas of the state.  The newspapers were carefully laid on the doorstep of the citizens by volunteer workers, many of whom had helped write the copy and make up the pages of the local section of the publication.

Epic clubs, clubs made up of rank-and-file citizens, spring up throughout the state.  At the time of the primary election there were nearly one thousand of them, and by the November 6 election there were double that number.  They ranged in membership from a dozen persons to several hundred, mobilizing not less than one hundred thousand workers in the state.  Their chief tasks were the distribution of the Epic News, the sale of Sinclair booklets, and the organization of precinct work.

Sinclair toured the state on speaking tours.  Large mass meetings were held everywhere with the largest being held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.  Discussing Sinclair’s addresses at these meetings, Mr. Borough recalled, “Mr. Sinclair’s oratory was declaimed in a high, thin, and sometimes strained voice and it was insistently, mercilessly repetitious.  It became a phonograph record which he could run forward or backward on a moment’s notice.”

In addition to Sinclair himself, hundreds of Epic speakers were booked to speak in small community meetings throughout the length and breadth of the state.     Sinclair gave this advice to Epic speakers:

Stick to the text.    Make up your mind to do this and do not let yourself be tempted into bypaths.  Do not discuss the gold standard, or tariff reform, or the League of Nations.  Leave all the national problems to the President.  We are proposing to end poverty in California.    Do not discuss religion.    Do not discuss racial problems.     Do not discuss labels.       Stick to the Epic plan and what it can do for Californians.

In the final states of the campaign the state headquarters of the Democratic Party alone booked more than five hundred speakers monthly, and more than two hundred broadcasts.  Ten speakers were kept continuously on the radio.

Following Sinclair’s announcement of his candidacy other Democrats began to make noises.  The Administration in Washington, not wanting California to be “captured” by an interloper, urged J. F. T. (“Jefty”) O’Connor, Comptroller of the Currency and former member of the prominent California law firm McAdoo, Neblett, and O’Connor, to run for the governorship.   It was even rumored that President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered to make a speech for O’Connor if he ran.  At a California Young Democrats convention held in March, 1934, O’Connor received the endorsement of the group by an overwhelming vote.  Nevertheless, O’Connor decided not to enter the primaries and instead threw his support to McAdoo’s candidate, George Creel.

George Creel had become famous during World War I when he headed the Committee on Public Information, that committee which was responsible for disseminating information relative to the war effort.  While in Washington he met and became friends with William McAdoo, who was then Secretary of the Treasury.     Following World War I, Creel again turned to his first love—journalism—and became a free-lance reporter.  McAdoo, upon becoming a U. S. Senator from California, recommended Creel for the position of N.R.A. Administrator for California, and it was this position from which Creel resigned in order to run for the governorship.  During the ensuring campaign Creel presented himself as a regular or Roosevelt Democrat and charged Sinclair with being a Socialist in disguise.

During the primary campaign Creel furnished the voters with a sample of the deluge which was to come during the final election period when he charged that Sinclair had the support of the “Young People’s Communist League of Los Angeles.”   In his rejoinder, Sinclair pointed out that there was no such organization as the above-named and that the supposed secretary of the legendary organization, one “Vladimir Kosloff,” did not exist.

The third main Democratic candidate was Justus Wardell, the traditional Democratic leader of San Francisco.  Wardell declared that Sinclair was a Communist and cited as his “proof” a recent book entitled The Red Network.  This work, written by Elizabeth Dilling, also alleged that Mrs. Louis Brandeis and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt belonged to the Communist Party.  Confusing Upton Sinclair with Sinclair Lewis, as so many people were prone to do, Wardell stated that Sinclair had proved himself an atheist by standing before a pulpit and saying, “If there is a God, let him prove it by striking me dead within the next three minutes.”

Although numerous attempts, including phone calls to both by Democratic National Chairman James A. Farley, were made to get either Wardell or Creel to withdraw in favor of the other, both refused to do so, claiming that the other would hurt the state almost as much as would Sinclair.

In May of that year Sheridan Downey, a Sacramento attorney who four years later was elected to the United States Senate, withdrew from the race for governor in favor of Sinclair and aligned himself with the EPIC movement by announcing that he was now a candidate for Lieutenant-Governor as the running mate of Sinclair.     In announcing his withdrawal from one office and his candidacy for other office, Downey stated:

I am happy to say that as a result of the conferences I have held with Mr. Sinclair recently, our minor disagreements have been largely eliminated.  Until my recent conferences with Mr. Sinclair, I was of the opinion that his farm colonization plan might injure present farmers and strain state finances.  Mr. Sinclair, however, intends to advance his EPIC program with safe financial limits so that existing farmers will not be disturbed.

Tremendous enthusiasm was prevalent in the camp of the Sinclair Democrats, for they were sure that this aggressive Sacramento attorney was bound to take votes away from the conservatives led by Wardell and Creel.  The Epic News jubilantly reported Downey’s joining the Sinclair forces by saying:

With the accession of Sheridan Downey, brilliant Sacramento liberal, to the EPIC camp, the movement to nominate Upton Sinclair . . . gains new strength throughout the state.  Downey has a thorough grasp on present-day economic conditions and a wide acquaintance among labor and liberal groups.

Sinclair’s rising strength could be noted in the fact that, for the first time in history, Democratic registration in California exceeded that of the Republicans.  The Democratic registration in Los Angeles County along was 674,434, and unprecedented figure and one which exceeded the Republican registration by 138,223.  The registration in the state gave the Democrats a majority of 75,285.

The Los Angeles Times, which heretofore had ignored Sinclair, took cognizance of Sinclair’s growing strength by saying:

Various reasons are advanced by Republican and Democratic leaders for this situation, but the most likely explanation is that the new “Democrats,” for the most part have affiliated with a political party for the first time in order to vote for Upton Sinclair for governor of California. . . .  That this situation is unwelcome to the real adherents and leaders of the Democratic Party is recognized by every politically informed man and woman in the state.  That it may have grave and far-reaching results is not open to challenge.

The Republicans were rather quiet during this period because it was expected that, as a matter of course, the sole candidate for the Republicans would be the incumbent governor, James (“Sunny Jim”) Rolph, Jr.  His sudden death, however, on June 2, 1934, threw the G.O.P. primary open to all contenders, though it was not felt that the leading candidate was the former Lieutenant-Governor, now elevated to the governorship, Frank F. Merriam.

Governor Merriam had, like many Californians, emigrated to the Golden State from Iowa and had set up a real estate office in Long Beach.  He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1917, was elected Speaker in 1923, and won the election for Lieutenant-Governor.  Shortly after taking office he was plunged into the political maelstrom.  A maritime strike broke out in San Francisco in July and, as a result of severe battles between strikers, police, and non-strikers, he called out the National Guard to quell the strike and police the San Francisco waterfront.  Though this action undoubtedly cost Merriam some votes, one astute political observer reported that “Mr. Merriam has enormously strengthened his position . . . by his readiness to use troops in San Francisco and by his many speeches and statements denouncing radicalism.”

Other candidates for the Republican nomination included former governor C. C. Young; John R. Quinn, former National Commander of the American Legion and later Los Angeles County Assessor; and Raymond L. Haight, a young, progressive lawyer.

Mr. Haight, who was to play a vital role in the final election campaign, was also the sole nominee of the small Commonwealth Party.  Haight was a thirty-seven year old attorney who had long fought for “clean government,” and entered the race so as to give the voters a chance to vote for a “middle-of-the-road” candidate.

The feverish activity of the EPIC followers and the exhortation of Sinclair had its effect as the following election results show:


Upton Sinclair             436,220

George Creel               288,106

Justus Wardell               48,965

Milton K. Young           41,609



Frank Merriam                     346,329

C. C. Young                         231,431

John Quinn                           153,412

Raymond L. Haight                84,977



Raymond L. Haight                                        3,421



Milen C. Dempster                                        2,521



Sam Darcey                                                1,072


Sheridan Downey easily won the nomination for Lieutenant-Governor by obtaining 366,798 votes.  While Merriam won more votes than did Sinclair in San Bernardino County (9,730 to 8,485) the Democratic candidates for governor pulled more votes that did the Republican contenders.

Other EPIC candidates who topped their respective field included Culbert Olson, who won the Democratic nomination for State Senator from the Thirty-eighth Senatorial District (Los Angeles County), and a young lawyer from San Dimas, Jerry Voorhis, who won the Democratic nomination for Assembly from the Forty-ninth Assembly District.

There was very little difference between the total votes as received by each side. It was felt that Merriam would get the majority of Quinn’s and Young’s votes in the final election; the big question was whether or not Sinclair could garner the majority of Creel’s vote.  While Creel sent a congratulatory telegram to Sinclair and announced that, for the moment, he would support Sinclair, Henry Cotton, Creel’s campaign manager, stated publicly, “We sorrowfully concede the rape of the Democratic party in California to Upton Sinclair.”

Disputing an editorial in The Nation which claimed that Sinclair would not win the general election, Sinclair wrote a letter to The Nation which said:

To win the general election on November 6 we shall have to get about twice as many votes as we got in the primaries.  We shall get a good many of the votes which went to our Democratic rivals, but three of the old-time Democratic politicians have already gone over to the enemy and each will take a few of his followers with him.  To make up for this we shall have to get many votes from persons who believe in our program but who didn’t trouble to vote in the primary.  Only fifty-five per cent of the registered voters voted in the primary, but in the general election the number ought to run to seventy-five per cent.

The two largest California newspapers printed bitter editorials the day following Sinclair’s primary victory.  Said the Los Angeles Times:

The Merriam-Sinclair contest is not a fight between men; it is a vital struggle between constructive and destructive forces.  Sinclair is a visionary consorter with radicals, a theorist.  No Democrat by the widest stretch of the imagination, Sinclair is a political opportunist, whose sole chance of political success lies in his ability to fool a majority of the electorate.

The San Francisco Chronicle stated:

The State faces an emergency which only resolutely united action can meet.     The menace is real and is equally serious whether or not Upton Sinclair is elected Governor or would not have a Legislature committed to his fantastic program.

The New York Times commented, "Sinclair’s victory is certain to raise up experimentation even more daring,” while the Dallas News said, “Sinclair’s victory is significant because it is indicative of popular unrest and a turn to Socialist platforms.”

Our local newspaper, the Redlands Daily Facts said that:

The Democratic administration, which has ridden high on the economic political saddle for three months, awakens today to receive the most stunning rebuke of a people to administer . . . the nomination of Upton Sinclair . . . can hardly be accepted as other than a repudiation of Roosevelt’s program…

Senator Hastings of Delaware spoke for many Washington leaders when he said that “California Democrats elected a disciple of Karl Marx in preference to a real Democrat.  The people, however, can rectify this mistake by voting for Governor Merriam in November.”

Two days after he had been nominated, Sinclair began a two-week trip to New York and Washington.  The purpose of the trip was to call upon the Federal officials whose aid he hoped to get for his EPIC projects, to explain the plan to them, and to learn what the Federal government was going along those lines.  He first visited Mayor LaGuardia of New York City.  In this city he broadcast over a national hook-up explaining the EPIC plan to the nation.

He next drove down to Hyde Park to see President Roosevelt and to seek his endorsement.  The President was faced with a dilemma; if he endorsed Sinclair, he would alienate millions of conservatives; if he repudiated the California candidate, he would weaken his strength among many Democrats and among millions more who had followed him in 1932.  As it turned out, the President took neither course.  Following the meeting of the two men Marvin McIntyre of the White House secretarial staff, (the term Press Secretary had not yet come into use) explained to the reporters that Roosevelt had had a nice non-political chat with Sinclair and that the President could not endorse Sinclair because “he does not interfere in local elections.”  McIntyre went on to say that if the President discussed politics with one candidate he would have to do it with all candidates.

Sinclair, however, came away from Hyde Park convinced that F. D. R. was solidly in favor of EPIC and was going to come out for “production for use” in a radio speech on October 25.  Of this “endorsement,” Arthur Schlesinger says:

No doubt, like so many others in the excitement of the presidential audience, Sinclair construed affability as assent.  Or he may have transferred a Rooseveltian speculation from the future conditional to the future.

Regardless, Sinclair later stated that Roosevelt’s failure to make that October 25 broadcast was one of the three major factors, which cost him the election.

Sinclair also had a long talk with James A. Farley, Postmaster General and National Chairman of the Democratic Party.  When asked if the party would support Sinclair in the final election, he replied, “The party has never failed to support its nominees.”

The sole Federal official who evidenced great enthusiasm for Sinclair and his plan was Harry Hopkins, Federal Relief Administrator, who, when asked if he was for Sinclair replied, “Sure I’m for him.  He’s on our side. A Socialist?   Of course not.  He’s a Democrat.  A good Democrat.”

When he got back to California the final campaign began in earnest.  Looking back on the campaign almost seven decades after it was waged, the writer agrees with the statement that it was one of the “greatest smear campaigns ever waged in an American election.”  Time pointed out that “no one in American political history, with the possible exception of William Jennings Bryan, had so horrified and outraged the evested interests and was more open to abuse than was Upton Sinclair.”

Not only did Sinclair have to battle the Republican Party, as would be natural in any political campaign waged under a two-party system, but he also had to battle a large segment of the Democratic party, as well as the Communists and Socialists.

It might be thought that the Socialists, of all people, would throw their support to Sinclair.  But this was not to be.  The Socialist Party in California declared Sinclair to be a “renegade” and warned the state not to trust Sinclair, while Norman Thomas, the perennial Socialist Candidate for President, stated, “Sinclair has promised the impossible,” and told the country that the Sinclair program was “quite visionary.”

As we shall soon see, Sinclair was called a Communist many times over during the campaign.  This was most ironic in view of the fact that the California Communist Party viciously assailed Sinclair.    The Daily Worker said that “EPIC is another addled egg from the blue buzzard’s nest,” and that “no greater threat to the American worker’s standard of living has appeared.”   The paper stated that Sinclair was a “social fascist.”

At first it appeared that the Democrats had patched up whatever differences had divided them during the primary campaign, for pictures taken at the Democratic State Convention held in Sacramento in September showed Creel, McAdoo, and Sinclair shaking hands and agreeing to battle the Republicans instead of each other.

Hoping to weld all factions of the party together, the Convention body drafted a platform that would hopefully appeal to many people.  The Democrats “pledged themselves to protect the purity and sacredness of the American home, to protect ownership of property and property rights that were not in conflict with the general welfare,” and, at the same time, they “pledged themselves to a policy of putting the unemployed at productive labor, enabling them to produce what they themselves are to consume.”

This harmony, however, was shattered on the last day of the convention when Culbert Olson was easily elected State Chairman of the Democratic Party over Colonel William Neblett, Senator McAdoo’s law partner.  Neblett thereupon repudiated Sinclair and the platform, called Sinclair a Communist, and went over to the Merriam camp.

Other Democratic defections quickly followed.  “Ham” Cotton, Creel’s campaign manager and head of the W. P. A. in Los Angeles, told Sinclair, “I’m going to fight you,” and proceeded to organize the “American Democracy of California” in support of Merriam.    The Wardell forces organized their own group (even at the point they did not want to associate with the Creel faction) called the “Loyal Democrats of California.”  Naturally these “loyal Democrats” were for Merriam.  William Jennings Bryan, Jr. organized the “League of Loyal Democrats,” and Judge Matt Sullivan of San Francisco became chairman of the “Democratic Merriam for Governor Campaign Committee.”  This last-named group asked in a campaign pamphlet, “Is he in fact a dyed-in-the-red Communist?   Sinclair will Russianize California and inflict on our people the curse of Communism.”

Even more damaging than the Democratic defections were the pamphlets put out by the advertising firm of Lord and Thomas.  This marked the first time, but certainly not the last, that a political campaign took on the aspect of a commercial sales campaign.  “out of His Own Mouth Shall He Be Judged” read the title page of six million leaflets, and it was with this slogan in mind that Lord and Thomas, helped out by the young enterprising advertising team of Clem Whittaker and Leone Baxter, culled material from author Sinclair’s numerous works which had been published over a period of thirty years.

A “front” was organized, the “United for California League,” and it was through this “front” that six million pamphlets were circulated and two hundred thousand billboards put up throughout the state.  The League “quoted” from Sinclair’s numerous works to “prove” that Sinclair was an atheist who advocated revolution, Communism, free love, and the scientific care of children.  Quoting from The Goslings, the League said that Sinclair had written that the P. T. A. had been taken over by the Black Hand; in Love’s Pilgrimage Sinclair was alleged to have said that “the sanctity of marriage . . . I have had such a belief . . . I have it no longer”; and in the novel 100% Sinclair was said to have called disabled war veterans “good-for-nothing soldiers.”

In The Industrial Republic Sinclair was supposed to have come out in favor of “nationalized children,” while a passage from Letters of Judd was so garbled that it read, “We are moving toward a new American revolution.   . . . We have got to get rid of the capitalist system.

Hitting hard at Sinclair’s scoffing at organized religion, the Republican State Central committee advised voters that the election of Sinclair would be a “crushing blow to Christianity and civilization,” and the League claimed that, in his book The Profits of Religion, Sinclair had called Christ “the chief enemy of social progress.”

The Los Angeles Times followed the lead of the League and took extracts from Sinclair’s books and placed them in “boxes” on the front page of every issue during the last month of the campaign.  These short quotations, set within black borders, attracted much attention and, according to Sinclair himself, were a major factor in Sinclair’s defeat.  The newspapers “quoted” by leaving out words from the middle of a sentence, or the sentence would begin after its real beginning, or end before its real ending.

A typical Times “quotation” was the following excerpt from The Goose-Step:

Fifteen years ago there was a strong movement for social justice in Oregon, let my reformers . . . who fondly imagined that if you gave the people the powers of direct legislation they would have the . . . intelligence to protect their own interests.  We now see that the hope was delusive; the people . . . have not the intelligence to help themselves.

Sinclair defended this by saying:

Of course The Times wanted the people to think I was expressing contempt for the people. . . .  And so it garbled the last sentence.  In The Goose-Step, page 169, the word “themselves” is not followed by a period.  It is followed by a coma, with the further words, “and the interlocking directorate (referring to big business) is vigorously occupied to see that they do not get this intelligence.”

The Redlands Daily Facts did much of the same thing, albeit not on a regular basis.

Thus on September 22, 1934, two “boxes” appeared in the newspaper, one headlined, “Sinclair Attacks His Own City,” and the other headline, “What Sinclair Terms Vermin” in which quotations from Sinclair’s Profits of Religion and The Goslings appear.

In addition, a huge advertisement appeared in the Facts on September 25 in which quotations from the two books named above were prominently spread.  Not so incidentally, the advertisement was “contributed to the Facts” and no name or group was given as to who was responsible for the advertisement.

The Facts also used its news pages to put in the most false and disreputable of charges.  Thus on October 11, an alleged news story, with no dateline or byline, appeared with the headline, “Empty freight cars on freight trains are filled with men coming to California to take advantage of the Upton Sinclair’s EPIC plan,” while the next day a purported news article was headlined, “Upton Sinclair Gleefully Looking Forward Toward Wrecking of All Banks and Industries.”

Keeping with the theme that Sinclair was a Communist who would format a violent revolution, the Facts on September 25, 1934 ran an editorial in which they extensively quoted one Cornelius De Bakesy, the publisher of the Fontana Herald, who said that “(T)he, EPIC plan is nothing else than an extract of the doctrine of extreme Socialism and Russian Communism,” and the newspaper quoted from Sinclair’s book The Profits of Religion.

In an attempt to show that Socialist Sinclair really lived in an area of affluence, the Facts, on October 6, had an article complete with pictures, which was headlined “Sinclair Deserts Mansion in Beverly Hills, and now Resides in a Modest Home in Pasadena.”

In the final appeal to the voters to reject Sinclair, the Times editorialized as follows:

Sinclair’s life work has been that of a literary dynamiter.  In his more than forty books he has attacked, maligned, and attempted to destroy the ideals and institutions that constitute civilization.  He is an apostle of hatred. . . .

Other techniques were used to insure Merriam’s election.  The Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company called eight hundred office employees together and asked them to sign circulars recording them as opposed to Sinclair and favorable to Merriam.  This request exempted Republicans.  A minor company official announced the appointment of fifty-six organizers within office ranks to check up on employees and “assist” them in voting for the “right candidate.”  Company officers on the platform applauded when speakers carped at Sinclair and the EPIC plan.

Late in October, U. S. Webb, Attorney-General of California, filed a civil suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court asking that some twenty-four thousand voters be cited to appear and show cause why their names should not be stricken from the qualified voters lists.

Supporting the attorney general’s office in court were Walter K. Tuller of the firm of O’Melveny, Tuller and Myers, and Albert Parker, secretary of the “United for California League.”  In a letter that fell into the hands of the Sinclair forces, Parker boasted, “We are bring . . . secret indictments . . . in sufficient numbers to terrify many people from coming near the polls.”

Presiding Judge Frank C. Collier not only issued the desired citations, but also ruled that the jeopardized voters would not receive personal notice to appear in court, but would be served by publication of notice once in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, a legal publication of limited circulation.

The Democratic State Central Committee appealed to the State Supreme Court to reverse Judge Collier’s decision.  The high court did reverse the decision and, speaking for the Court, Justice William Langdon said:

. . . the action below is a sham proceeding and a perversion of court justice, absolutely void, and it can have no effect other than to intimidate and prevent eligible voters from going to the polls.  It outrages every principle of justice and fair play.  In brief, it attempts, in a personal action in the superior court, to abrogate and cut off the constitutional right to vote of more than twenty-four thousand defendants without personal service of any kind upon said defendants and upon a purported service by publication of this mass of names without addresses and not even in alphabetical order, on a single occasion, in a newspaper of some fifteen hundred circulation.

For the first time Hollywood threw its mighty forces into political battle.  Led by Louis B. Mayer, President of M. G. M. and Republican State Committee Vice-Chairman, the film industry set out to smash Sinclair.  The leaders’ first move was to declare that they would be forced to move the entire motion picture industry out of California if Sinclair was elected.  However, Carl Laemmle, President of Universal Studios, broke ranks and declared that, not matter who won the election, Universal Studios would remain in California.  He stated, “I never have cared a rap who was or was not governor.”

The producers raised a campaign fund of half a million dollars, partly by assessing their high-salaried employees one day’s salary.  Though most actors and writers meekly went along with this “request,” some led a rebellion against the “Merriam tax.”  Morrie Ryskind, for example, organized the Writers for Sinclair Committee.

The producers’ main barrage against Sinclair consisted of a series of fabricated newsreels.  Motion pictures were taken of a horde of disreputable vagrants in the act of crossing “the California border”; these pictures were actually taken on the streets of Los Angeles with cameras from a major studio.  The “vagrants” were actors on studio payrolls, dressed in false whiskers and dirty clothes, and wearing sinister expressions.  These “newsreels” were distributed free to theater owners, and were spread across the screens of leading theaters in every city in the state.

One of the melodramas was particularly interesting.  In this film an interviewer approaches a demure old lady sitting in her rocking chair.  When asked for whom she is going to vote, she replies that Merriam is her man; when asked why she is going to vote for Merriam, she states, “Because I want to save my little home.   It’s all I have left in this world.”  In this same “newsreel” a bearded man with a thick Russian accent declares for Sinclair.  When asked by the interviewer why he is voting for Sinclair, he replies, “Vell, his system worked vell in Russia, vy can’t it work here?”

The effectiveness of Hollywood’s crusade against Sinclair was summed up by the Hollywood Reporter:  “This campaign against . . . Sinclair has been and is DYNAMITE.  It is the most effective piece of political humdingery that has ever been effected. . . .”

Even Governor Merriam himself conducted an anti-Sinclair as opposed to a pro-Merriam, campaign.  In his public utterances Merriam stated that “there are no other issues before us except radicalism and Socialism.”  He called the EPIC proposals “flimsy and unreal . . . utterly misguided . . . completely impossible of realization . . . dangerously unsafe and destructive.”

He pointed with pride to the special session of the California Legislature which had just concluded and through which he had forced measures dealing with old-age pensions, assistance for the unemployed, and relief for certain classes of debtors.  He made a bid for the votes of the Townsend Plan advocates by declaring, “I have recommended to the attention and scrutiny of the national government the . . . Townsend Plan and shall actually cooperate with the federal authorities in working out an equitable and sound plan designed to accomplish the purposes involved.”

The third man in the race, Raymond L. Haight, had no chance of winning, but his vote if thrown to one of the two main candidates, could be the decisive factor in the election.   It was with this thought in mind that a group of Northern California businessmen went to Haight and urged him to withdraw from the campaign.  In return for his withdrawal they offered him:  (1) any state office he wanted;  (2) the United States Senatorship in the event that a Senator died while Merriam was Governor;  (3) a promise of support for him in the gubernatorial race in 1938;  and (4) $100,000 cash.  Haight refused to withdraw and continued his campaign hitting hard at the theme that he was the “middle-of-the-road” candidate.

During the last month of the campaign events moved fast, and most of them proved inimical to Sinclair.  He was heartened by letters of encouragement from two famous men, one a physicist and the other a poet.   From his home in New Jersey, Albert Einstein wrote, “You know indeed much better than I, that nothing annoys people more then one trying to help them.  I heartily wish that in your case the matter may come out otherwise.”

Ezra Pound, from his home in Rapallo, Italy, scribbled on a large sheet the following message:  “Congrats on nomination.  Now beat the bank buzzards and get elected.  ‘Script’ yr/best item.  Vide exec.”

The Sinclair forces were temporarily elated when letters arrived to prominent California Democrats urging Sinclair’s election and bearing the famous green-ink signature of Jim Farley.  The letter was promptly put on the front page of the Epic News.  When Farley was questioned about this unexpected turn of events, he professed ignorance of the letter of endorsement.  Emil Hurja a wizard with figures and Secretary of the Democratic National Committee, stated to the press that the letters were the result of a “clerical error” and never should have been sent in the first place.  It was reported that F. D. R. himself called Farley in the reprimanded him for his carelessness in the matter.

The repudiation by the Democratic National Chairman caused consternation in the Sinclair camp, but Sinclair himself was not daunted as he expected Roosevelt to endorse him in an October 25 radio address.  The magic date came and went without the mention of Sinclair’s name by Roosevelt.  Sinclair was bitterly disappointed and felt that Roosevelt had betrayed him.  As mentioned before, Roosevelt’s biographer, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. feels that F. D. R. did not make a definite promise to Sinclair to endorse him, but that Sinclair merely thought that he did.

At least one source, however, felt that Roosevelt was again playing the part of a master politician.  An editorial in The New Republic stated:

Mr. Roosevelt’s policy toward the Upton Sinclair campaign in California does him as little credit as any action of his since entering the White House.  It may have been only a coincidence that the President waited until The Literary Digest poll suggested a crushing defeat for Sinclair was probable before he scuttled the EPIC ship, but there can be no doubt that in the minds of many Americans the two developments will seem like cause and effect.

Roosevelt himself made no public comment, but in a letter to Senator Key Pittman of Nevada he stated:

In regard to the gentleman in California, I suppose that if matters come to a head and he takes my name in vain the only possible answer is the one we have used before—“The President has taken no part in regard to any matter of policy, party or candidate in any state election; he is taking no part and will take no part.”

At this distance it looks as though Sinclair will win if he stages an orderly, common sense campaign, but will be beaten if he makes a fool of himself.

Other prominent Democrats began to desert the Sinclair ship.  Senator McAdoo, when asked if he were voting for Sinclair, evasively replied that he had to make speeches in Arizona and Utah in support of Democratic Senatorial candidates and would not reach California until election day, while George Creel made public a letter to Sinclair in which he stated that Sinclair had violated a pledge to abandon his platform of “Immediate Epic” in favor of a compromise plan.  Creel said that he was going to vote for Merriam and hoped that other Democrats would do likewise.

The same day that Creel’s letter was made public, the Saturday Evening Post came out with its weekly issue and the lead article was entitled, “Utopia Unlimited” and was written by one George Creel.  In this article Creel blasted EPIC, claiming that the plan was economically unfeasible, and wrote that the platform adopted at the Democratic State Convention in September was different from that espoused by Sinclair.

With the election but nine days away, J. F. T. O’Connor and A. P. Giannini of the Bank of America urged Sinclair to withdraw from the race in favor of Haight.  Though O’Connor emphasized to the press that he was speaking for himself and not for the Administration, it was generally assumed that Roosevelt had given his tacit blessing to O’Connor’s mission.  Sinclair refused to drop out and continued his campaign.

The last blow fell on November 3, just three days before the election, when the poll taken by The Literary Digest was released.  It showed Sinclair as the choice of 25.5 per cent of the electorate while Governor Merriam was picked by 62.31 per cent of those polled.  Unfortunately for Sinclair it was not until two years later, when The Literary Digest poll showed a Landon victory over Roosevelt, that the magazine’s method of polling proved so disastrous that it went out of existence.

The heat of the last days of the campaign bordered on fury and hysteria.  Max Stern reported to the San Francisco News on November 2:

A reign of unreason bordering on hysteria has this sprawling city in its grip as the nation’s ugliest campaign approaches zero hour.  The “stop Sinclair” movement has become a phobia; lacking humor, fairness, and even a sense of reality.  Here one finds himself dwelling in a beleaguered town with the enemy pounding at the gates.  Convinced that this is not politics, but war, the defenders excuse their excesses on the ground that in war all’s fair.

Election day arrived and a heavy vote was cast.  Merriam was elected governor, but received less than fifty per cent of the total vote cast.  The returns were as follows:

Merriam         1,138,629

Sinclair              879,537

Haight               302,519

Darcey                 5,826

Dempster               2,947

The results in Redlands were even more of a triumph for the GOP.  The votes were as follows:  Merriam:  4,625;  Sinclair:  1,313,  and, Haight  336.

Several EPIC candidates were victorious, however, including Culbert Olson, elected State Senator from Los Angeles County, and Jerry Voorhis, who were elected to the State Assembly.  Eighteen of the twenty Congressmen elected were Democrats.

At least one political observer has concluded that it had been a two-man race Sinclair would have been elected.  Reuben Borough disputes this and stated that it was erroneous that Raymond Haight, the third man in the race, took votes away from Sinclair.  He said that Haight’s strength lay in the great San Joaquin Valley, an agricultural area; that the farmers did not like Sinclair because of Sinclair’s threatening to take over idle land; and that in a two-man race the farmers’ vote would have gone to Merriam.

Sinclair congratulated Merriam by saying, “We will hang the threat of a recall as a sword over Merriam’s head. . . .  The election was just a skirmish, and we are enlisted for the war.”  For his part, Merriam said, “California has rejected radicalism and Socialism and indicated . . . adherence to sound and tested methods of government and economics.”

California politics were never to be the same again.  Speaking of the introduction of advertising techniques into political campaigns, Schlesinger has noted:

The Republican success marked a new advance in the art of public relations, in which advertising men now believed they could sell or destroy political candidates as they sold one kind of soap and defamed its competitor.  Humdingery and dynamite dominated California politics from then on.

The Democratic Party in California underwent a transformation as a result of the Sinclair campaign.  Heretofore a minority party the Democrats found themselves at least in terms of registration, the majority party, and they have kept that majority ever since.  Also brought into the party were a number of young, progressive-minded men.  These men, such as Downey and Voorhis, spoke for quite a different version of California Democracy from that of McAdoo and Creel.  In a period of little more than a year Sinclair completely altered the face and shape of the Democratic Party in California.



Anderson, Dewey.  Voting in California.  Washington, D. C.:  Public Affairs Institute, 1958.  33 pp.

Borough, Ruben W.  The Challenge of Sinclair’s Epic.  Los Angeles:  The Author, 1946. 105pp.

Carlson, Oliver.  A Mirror for Californians.  New York:  The Bobbs-Merrial Company, 1941.  372 pp.

Cleland, Robert.  California in Our Time. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1947.  320 pp.

Dell, Floyd.  Upton Sinclair:  A Study in Social Protest.  New York:  George H. Doran Company, 1927.  187 pp.

Lee, Eugene G.  California Votes:  1928-1960.  Berkeley, California:  Institute of Governmental Studies, 1963.  308 pp.

Link, Arthur S.  American Epoch:  A Short History of the United States Since the 1890’s. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1955.  724 pp.

Roosevelt, Elliott, ed.  F. D. R.:  His Personal Letters, 1928-1945.  New York:  Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1950.  III 738 pp.

Rosten, Leo C.  Hollywood.  New York:  Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1941.  435 pp.

Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M.  The Age of Roosevelt:  The Politics of Upheaval.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1960.  III 749 pp.

Sinclair, Upton.  American Outpost:  A Book of Reminiscences.  New York:  Farrar and Rinehart, Inc., 1932.  274 pp.

The Autobiography of Upton Sinclair.  New York:  Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1962.  342 pp.

EPIC Answers.  Los Angeles:  The Author, 1934.   32 pp.

I, Governor of California and How I Ended Poverty.   Los Angeles:  The Author, 1933.  64 pp.

I, Governor of California and How I Got Licked.  New York:  Farrar and Rinehart, Inc., 1934.  251 pp.

My Lifetime in Letters.  Columbia, Missouri:  University of Missouri Press, 1960.  412 pp.


“California,”  News-Week, (September 8, 1934), 5-6.

Creel, George C.  “Utopia Unlimited,”  Saturday Evening Post, 207 (October 27, 1934),

5, 78.

Davenport, Walter.  “Sinclair Gets the Glory Vote,”  Colliers, 94 (October 27, 1934), 12.

 “Do Socialists Want Socialism?”  Christian Century, 51 (September 19, 1934), 1167


 “Diogenes.”  “News and Comment,”  The Literary Digest, 118 (September 8, 1934), 13.

 “The Epic of Upton Sinclair,”  The Nation, 139 (October 31, 1934), 495-496.

Foote, Robert O.  “The Radical vs. Conservative Issue in California,”  The Literary

Digest,  118 (September 8, 1934), 7.

Herring, Hubert C.  “California Votes for God,”  The Christian Century, 51 (October 31,

1934), 1370-1372.

McWilliams, Carey.  “High Spots in the Campaign,”  The New Republic, 80 (November

7, 1934), 356.

 “Merriam vs. Sinclair,”  The Literary Digest, 118 (October 13, 1934),  3.

 “Merriam Tops Sinclair in the Final Poll Report,”  The Literary Digest,  118 (November

3, 1934), 5, 43.

Political Scene,”  The Literary Digest, 118 (September 8, 1934),  6.

 “Politics,”  News-Week,  4 (October 3, 1934),  9.

Sinclair, Upton.  “Epic Evaluation,”  The Nation, 139 (September 26, 1934),  351.

Sinclair, Upton.  “The Future of EPIC,”  The Nation, 139 (November 8, 1934),  616-617.

 “Upton Sinclair,”  Time, 24 (October 22, 1934), 13-16.

 “Upton Sinclair’s Victory,”  The Nation, 139 (September 12, 1934),  285-286.

 “Upton Sinclair,”  The New Republic, 80 (November 7, 1934),  349.

West, George P.  “California Sees Red,”  Current History, 21 (September, 1934),  658



Jordan, Frank C., comp.  Statement of Vote.  Sacramento:  California State Printing

Office, 1926.   70 pp.

Statement of Vote.  Sacramento:  California State Printing Office, 1928.

42 pp.

Statement of Vote.  Sacramento:  California State Printing Office, 1930.

37 pp.

Statement of Vote.  Sacramento:  California State Printing Office, 1932.

49 pp.

Statement of Vote at the Primary Election.  Sacramento:  California State

Printing Office, 1934.  47 pp.

Statement of Vote.  Sacramento:  California State Printing Office, 1934.

45 pp.


Delmatier, Royce Deems.  The Rebirth of the Democratic Party in California:  1928

1938.   Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation.  University of California, 1956.  302 pp.


Epic News, May 28 – October 29, 1934.

Redlands Daily Facts, February 1 – November 7, 1934.

Los Angeles Times, July 11 – November 7, 1934.

New York Times, August 28 – November 4, 1934.

Home Page

Copyright © 2007 The Fortnightly Club of Redlands, California 
Website maintained by RedFusion Media