Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) was born in Baltimore. At age fifteen, he began writing a series of dime novels in order to pay for his education at the City College of New York. He was later accepted to do graduate work at Columbia, and while there he published a number of novels, including The Journal of Arthur Stirling (1903) and Manassas (1904). Sinclair's breakthrough came in 1906 with the publication of The Jungle, a scathing indictment of the Chicago meat-packing industry. His later works include World's End (1940), Dragon's Teeth (1942), which won him a Pulitzer Prize, O Shepherd, Speak! (1949) and Another Pamela (1950).
Sinclair's 1927 novel did for California's oil industry what The Jungle did for Chicago's meat-packing factories. The plot follows the clash between an oil developer and his son. Typical of Sinclair, there are undertones here of socialism and sympathy for the common working stiff. Though the book is not out of print, this is the only paperback currently available.
"A classic tale of greed and corruption"-Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation "[Oil! is] probably his second best book and certainly his most readable."-The New Yorker"Anderson's film is a true American saga-one that rivals Giant and Citizen Kane in our popular lore as origin stories about how we came to be the people we are... Daniel Day-Lewis is at his brilliant best as the story's Daniel Plainview, a man whose humanity diminishes as his fortunes increase."-Variety