Archives On The Air 131: Governor Upton Sinclair—Selden Rodman Papers

Mar 25, 2019

In the 1930s Selden Rodman founded "Common Sense." It was a leftwing magazine that was supportive of democratic socialism. "Common Sense" pushed for adoption of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.

Author Upton Sinclair was a contributing author. Sinclair ran for California governor in 1934. 

His platform was called End Poverty in California, or EPIC. It was similar to the New Deal. Sinclair's letters with Rodman show political debates that still go on today.

Rodman believed the left should form a new party separate from what he called "reactionary Democrats." Sinclair disagreed and argued a third party isn't viable.

The Selden Rodman papers at UW's American Heritage Center contain his correspondence with influential people of the 20th Century. Many of Rodman's papers were burned in a fire before the AHC received them, but most are still legible.