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Guide to the Upton Sinclair Letters to Melville Kress

MSN/MN 3014

 

Collection Summary

Title: Upton Sinclair Letters to Melville Kress
Dates: 1933-1958(bulk 1938-1948)
Collection No.: MSN/MN 3014
Creator: Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968
Extent: 55 folders; 1 container; .5 linear feet
Language: Collection material in English.
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: Fifty-five letters written by American novelist, playwright, and essayist Upton Sinclair to Melville L. Kress, dated between 1933 and 1958.

Selected Search Terms

Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968 -- Correspondence
Kress, Melville, 1906-1998
Novelists, American -- 20th century
Social reformers -- United States -- 20th century

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Upton Sinclair Letters to Melville Kress, [collection and folder no.], Rare Books and Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Upton Sinclair Letters to Melville Kress were acquired by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2017, from George R. Minkoff Rare Books of Great Barrington, Masschusetts. Arranged and described 2017, by Debra Dochuk. Finding aid 2017, by Debra Dochuk.

Biographical Note

Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. was born in Baltimore, Maryland, 20 September 1878 to Upton Beall Sinclair and Priscilla Harden Sinclair. In 1888, the Sinclair family moved to Queens, New York where as a teenager Upton began his writing career, producing boys' adventure stories for the pulps and writing jokes for humor magazines. He graduated in 1897 from the City College of New York and studied for a time at Columbia University. Sinclair published his first novel in 1900. His sixth novel, The Jungle (1906), treating the conditions in the Chicago meat packing plants, made him an international figure and provided the final impetus for the passage of the The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.

Sinclair would go on to write over ninety books and numerous short stories, plays, and pamphlets. As one of America's best known Socialists, he ran twice for Congress on the party ticket, losing both times, and was Democratic nominee for Governor of California in 1934. In a contentious campaign, which saw his End Poverty in California platform (EPIC) vilified by his opponents, he was defeated by Republican Frank F. Merriam. In 1940, Sinclair published the first of the World's End (or Lanny Budd) novels, an eleven volume sequence that portrayed the political history of the Western World from 1913 to 1950. The series was immensely popular. Volume three, entitled Dragon's Teeth, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943.

Melville Kress, Sinclair's correspondent, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 20 March 1906, the first of three children of Henry and Mary Kress. Leaving school in the eighth grade, Kress was a factory worker and union organizer with the American Federation of Labor, who at some point during the 1920s took an interest in Sinclair's writings. The two men began a correspondence that would last for over forty years. When Sinclair, who described Kress as his "fastidious left-wing critic," began writing his World's End series, he asked Kress to review the manuscripts. It is likely that while editing Sinclair's novels Kress got the idea of writing a biography of his famous friend. The biography was not completed during either man's lifetime. Melville Kress died on 30 December 1998. In 2005, his son, Ken M. Kress, compiled, edited, and posthumously self-published his father's unfinished biography of Sinclair under the title Mightier Than the Sword: The Era of Upton Beall Sinclair (Bloomington IN: Authorhouse, 2005).

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 55 typescript letters, typically one page in length, sent by Sinclair to Kress, February 1933 to October 1958. All are signed in ink. Most of the letters were written between 1938 and 1948. Much of the content pertains to Sinclair's current literary work, particularly the World's End novels written between 1940 to 1953. But there are also reflections on past events, including two letters discussing Sinclair's relationship with Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein. In addition, Sinclair's letters contain literary comments (often sharply critical) of Kress's written work. Finally, the letters provide insight into Sinclair's thoughts about contemporaneous events, especially political developments in Russia.

Arrangement Note

The collection consists of one series; materials are arranged chronologically, one letter per folder.

Related Material

Twenty additional letters from Sinclair to Kress, 1939-1951, make up the Upton Sinclair Letters in the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries in Syracuse, New York (SC717). Also of note are the Upton Beall Sinclair Papers at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (Sinclair mss. LMC 1964), and the Melville L. Kress papers, 1947-1981 at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. See also Sergei Eisenstein and Upton Sinclair: The Making and Unmaking of Que Viva Mexico, edited by Harry M. Geduld and Ronald Gottsman (Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 1970) and Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair, by Anthony Arthur (New York: Random House, 2006)

Container List

  • Series 1: Letters 
    • Folder 1 (MSN/MN 3014-1) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Los Angeles, California, to Melville Kress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1933 February 18. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
      Sinclair proposes a business arrangement. In exchange for helping locate and supply bookstores in Pittsburgh with Sinclair's books, Kress will receive a ten percent commission.
      • Folder 2 (MSN/MN 3014-2) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1935 January 30. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
        Sinclair discusses his beliefs about God. He regrets he has never been able to find the time to write a book on the subject.
        • Folder 3 (MSN/MN 3014-3) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1936 November 16. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
          In a short letter, Sinclair admits "it is quite possible that I have made a mistake about [Dr. Albert] Abrams." Sinclair was an enthusiastic supporter and stauch defender of Abrams, whose first invention was a diagnosing machine called the "dynomizer." Abrams claimed he could diagnose and cure almost any disease. The American Medical Association and Scientific American deemed the machine and its creator fraudulent.
          • Folder 4 (MSN/MN 3014-4) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1937 December 20. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
            Sinclair mentions that he is frustrated with Haldeman Julius, an American publisher and editor who purchased the socialist newspaper Appeal to Reason. Sinclair is perturbed that Julius's correspondence makes it "perfectly plain that he has not read what I have written." Appeal to Reason published The Jungle in serialized form in 1905. Julius would eventually retire the newspaper and focus on production of the Little Blue Books series, inexpensive volumes geared to instructing working- and middle-class readers in literature, economics, politics, and culture.
            • Folder 5 (MSN/MN 3014-5) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1938 June 18. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
              In a brief letter, Sinclair speculates that Jack London and poet George Sterling were alcoholics.
              • Folder 6 (MSN/MN 3014-6) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1938 November 7. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                Sinclair reflects on meeting Russian revolutionary and philosopher Peter Kropotkin in 1913.
                • Folder 7 (MSN/MN 3014-7) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California to Melville Kress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1938 December 22. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                  Sinclair reflects on his financial well-being, and the swings in fortune he endured as a young author.
                  • Folder 8 (MSN/MN 3014-8) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1939 March 27. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                    Sinclair writes he has considered and accepted almost all of Kress's revisions to his World's End manuscript, the first book in the Lanny Budd series. He offers to help Kress find work in the literary field in New York City, suggesting he should seek out his "intimate friend" Fulton Oursler, "editor of Liberty and general manager of all the Macfadden publications." Oursler was an American journalist, playwright, author, and editor. He would go on to become the senior editor at Reader's Digest in 1944.
                    • Folder 9 (MSN/MN 3014-9) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1939 May 19. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                      Sinclair reflects on his play, Marie Antoinette, and his novel, Our Lady, and informs Kress he has contacted Helen Woodward, pioneering advertising executive and author, on Kress's behalf.
                      • Folder 10 (MSN/MN 3014-10) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, n.p., 1939 June 1. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                        Sinclair relays Helen Woodward's reply. "I knew she would do her best. I fear that you and I do not realize how very bad conditions are in the literary market in New York." Sinclair mentions he will send Kress's manuscript on to Helen Woodward's husband, William E. Woodward, editor, publisher, and author to see if he has can offer any suggestions.
                        • Folder 11 (MSN/MN 3014-11) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1939 June 7. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                          Sinclair promises to write a letter of introduction for Kress to William E. Woodward, but admits having little "confidence that [his] opinion will count with anybody who has money to pay out under the profit system. . . ."
                          • Folder 12 (MSN/MN 3014-12) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, n.p., 1939 July 10. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                            Sinclair writes that he is "delighted" Kress finds chapters 22 and 23 of World's End "interesting," but notes it will be some time before he is able to send additional chapters, as he is wanting "to stop and make a thorough study of the peace negotiations."
                            • Folder 13 (MSN/MN 3014-13) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California to Melville Kress, n.p., 1939 December 15. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                              Sinclair gives literary advice to Kress about a sonnet he has written. He says, "you have something interesting and worthwhile to say, and some of your lines seem to me good," but then, with a hint of derision, questions Kress's vocabulary and concludes the entire piece "would need a lot of working over; and your last line needs another foot!"
                              • Folder 14 (MSN/MN 3014-14) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 January 22. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                Sinclair writes he is working on the final revision of World's End and goes on to explain his attitude toward Russia after the invasion of Finland. He says Stalin has made a "dreadful blunder, because he has deprived the Soviet Union of what was its strong support in the eyes of liberals all over the world—the fact that it was standing for peace. . . ."
                                • Folder 15 (MSN/MN 3014-15) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 January 27. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                  Sinclair continues to discuss the Russian invasion of Finland. He describes the invasion as "identical with the Hitler technique" and regrets he defended Russia so "ardently," admitting his feelings mirror "the fellow whose best girl deserts him."
                                  • Folder 16 (MSN/MN 3014-16) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, n.p., 1940 March 14. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                    Sinclair tells Kress the proofs of the first one-third of World's End will total 750 pages. He goes on to wish Kress "success with Heubsch," Kress's potential publisher. Benjamin Huebsch, president and editor at Viking Press, saw the potential of Sinclair's World's End series. Vanguard Press and Sinclair's longtime publisher, Farrar & Rinehart, passed on the chance to publish the series after lackluster sales of his previous books. Between 1940 and 1953, Viking Press would sell nearly half a million copies of World's End and its ten sequels.
                                    • Folder 17 (MSN/MN 3014-17) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, n.p., 1940 April 5. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                      Sinclair agrees to "run through" Kress's manuscript and send it along to [Benjamin] Huebsch. Sinclair concludes the letter with mention that he has "happily started on Volume Two of the novel, which I am going to call Dragon's Teeth, and have about twenty-five pages. . . ." Dragon's Teeth would ultimately become the third volume in the World's End series, and be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1943.
                                      • Folder 18 (MSN/MN 3014-18) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, n.p., 1940 July 22. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                        Sinclair outlines the story of Marie, Madame de Bruyne, a character in the World's End series. He writes there is a "problem about the story," and requests Kress to "think this all over and tell me which seems to you the most interesting form of story."
                                        • Folder 19 (MSN/MN 3014-19) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 August 5. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                          Sinclair admits he owes "several letters of thanks for your notes on the manuscript," but explains "I have been busy with my friend Martin Birnbaum who has just left. . . ." Martin Birnbaum, a longtime friend and classmate of Sinclair, was an international art dealer, critic and author, and was the inspiration for the character Lanny Budd, the hero of the World's End series. Sinclair goes on to write he cannot make the changes Kress has suggested as they are "too brutal" and would cause "people to drop the book."
                                          • Folder 20 (MSN/MN 3014-20) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 August 14. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                            Sinclair provides advice about an unspecified personal matter, saying "it made me sad because it indicated great unhappiness and more to come." His letter concludes in a humorous vein with a light-hearted account about swimming.
                                            • Folder 21 (MSN/MN 3014-21) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 August 19. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                              Sinclair writes he is pleased Kress "likes the art-buying chapters" but says he will not change his treatment of Lanny and his carefree handling of large sums of money. He goes on to explain, this is because his friend and the inspiration for Lanny, Martin Birnbaum, "described to me many such transactions and he never mentioned having any guard."
                                              • Folder 22 (MSN/MN 3014-22) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 August 28. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                Sinclair relays that Benjamin Huebsch has read Kress's manuscript, and finds it wanting. "His general impression seemed to be that your opinions were intruded into the narrative," Sinclair writes. "He thought the material was interesting, but your point of view was narrow." Sinclair also addresses Kress's inquiry about writing a biography of him. He discourages Kress from speaking to [Irving] Stone, [William] Woodward or Lewis Browne as they have all "talked about writing a biography of me." Sinclair also discourages Kress from seeking advice from H. L. Mencken who "has always been personally friendly. . .but has written outrageous things about me." "You will be nothing but a name to him and he will have forgotten your name in five minutes. . . ." Sinclair and Mencken carried on a vigorous correspondence for more than thirty years.
                                                • Folder 23 (MSN/MN 3014-23) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 September 4. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                  Sinclair thanks Kress for "calling attention" to a "slip" in the manuscript about Walter Rathanau, the German statesman who was assassinated in 1922. He goes on to address two humorous questions from Kress regarding whether he has ever made maple syrup.
                                                  • Folder 24 (MSN/MN 3014-24) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 October 18. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                    This brief letter contains further discussion about the plot of Dragon's Teeth.
                                                    • Folder 25 (MSN/MN 3014-25) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 November 1. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                      Sinclair discusses the plot of Between Two Worlds, sequel to World's End.
                                                      • Folder 26 (MSN/MN 3014-26) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1940 November 22. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                        Sinclair writes he is working on the final revisions to Between Two Worlds. He goes on to discuss current events in Russia, Germany and Britain, along with his thoughts about possible conscription in the United States.
                                                        • Folder 27 (MSN/MN 3014-27) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1941 January 20. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                          Sinclair writes he will finish the page proofs of Between Two Worlds and hopes Kress will give him advice on his third volume, Dragon's Teeth. The letter also contains further discussion of current events in Russia.
                                                          • Folder 28 (MSN/MN 3014-28) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1941 March 14. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                            Sinclair offers a stinging critique of Kress's manuscript. He writes, "what I thought was going to be an interesting story turned out to be just an introduction to a sermon. . . .it would seem that you have fallen between two stools."
                                                            • Folder 29 (MSN/MN 3014-29) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1941 March 21. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                              Sinclair discusses a séance which takes place in chapters four and five of Dragon's Teeth, writing "it parallels closely other séances which I know about." He goes on to ask Kress to send "something for a test with [Arthur] Ford." Arthur Ford, a former Disciples of Christ minister, became a renowned medium and co-founded the First Spiritualist Church of New York. Sinclair and Ford met in 1930 when he conducted a séance for Sinclair and professed to channel Sinclair's friend, writer Jack London.
                                                              • Folder 30 (MSN/MN 3014-30) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1941 April 21. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                Sinclair describes at length the plot of Dragon's Teeth.
                                                                • Folder 31 (MSN/MN 3014-31) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1941 June 6. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                  Sinclair continues to discuss current events in Russia. Also, Sinclair follows up on the package Kress has sent to test Arthur Ford's psychic abilities. Sinclair reports that Ford just endured a painful surgical operation and was unable to perform the psychic reading of Kress's material.
                                                                  • Folder 32 (MSN/MN 3014-32) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1941 June 23. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                    Further discussion of Russia after the German invasion, with Sinclair writing, "the world has certainly changed in the last few days. . . ." I hope it turns out that I was wrong and you were right about the strength of the Red army. I do not doubt their courage, but I fear for their leadership and transportation." The letter also contains further discussion of the plot of Dragon's Teeth.
                                                                    • Folder 33 (MSN/MN 3014-33) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1941 December 1. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                      Sinclair discloses that the war in Europe has hurt his finances and delayed publication of Dragon's Teeth. "Europe has been pretty well wiped out for me and my income thereby cut about in half." Also, Sinclair notes he is "getting ready to start on Volume Four [Wide is the Gate]. "It is going to be such a sad story that I will have a hard time getting it so that people will read it."
                                                                      • Folder 34 (MSN/MN 3014-34) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1941 December 26. TLS, 2 pages on 1 sheet.
                                                                        Sinclair proposes a "ghost-writing job" to Kress, explaining his literary agent in London has requested an article about Socialism, and that he will furnish Kress with fifty percent of the proceeds should he agree to help.
                                                                        • Folder 35 (MSN/MN 3014-35) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, n.p., 1942 January 7. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                          Sinclair, unable to use "anything" Kress has sent him, goes on to complain, what "I had in mind and tried to explain to you was that I wanted a factual and not a theoretical article."
                                                                          • Folder 36 (MSN/MN 3014-36) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1942 March 25. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                            Sinclair chides Kress for corresponding with [William] Woodward regarding Sinclair's relationship with [Sergei] Eisenstein. He writes, "I hope you will not think me uncordial if I ask you not to write to my friends about these matters without first consulting me, because otherwise you cannot possibly know what toes you may be treading on—either theirs or mine!!" Eisenstein was a Russian film producer and the director of Qué Viva México!, a 1930s film financed with money from Sinclair. The film was never released and Sinclair spent decades in a legal and financial battle with Eisenstein. Sinclair believed "Eisenstein proved himself the most unprincipled man we ever had anything to do with. . . ."
                                                                            • Folder 37 (MSN/MN 3014-37) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1942 April 2. TLS, 2 pages on 2 sheets.
                                                                              Sinclair, in a second letter on the topic of Eisenstein, describes at some length his relationship with Eisenstein, writing he is an "unprincipled scoundrel. . .who bled me white and very nearly cost me my life."
                                                                              • Folder 38 (MSN/MN 3014-38) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, n.p., 1942 June 8. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                In a short half page letter Sinclair discusses an "oversight" in the plot of Wide is the Gate.
                                                                                • Folder 39 (MSN/MN 3014-39) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1942 August 26. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                  Sinclair writes of his move to a new steel and concrete house. Also, Sinclair reports that his publisher, Benjamin Huebsch, is pleased with the last chapters of Wide is the Gate, relaying "there are occasions when a happy ending is the only right ending. . . ."
                                                                                  • Folder 40 (MSN/MN 3014-40) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1942 December 14. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                    Sinclair reports he is in the middle of moving his office and is thus unable to write.
                                                                                    • Folder 41 (MSN/MN 3014-41) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1943 March 23. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                      Sinclair reports he is still occupied with his move, but is making progress on Volume Five and has "hit on what I think is a good title. . .Broad Is The Way." The title would later be changed to Presidential Agent.
                                                                                      • Folder 42 (MSN/MN 3014-42) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1943 August 4. TLS, 2 pages on 2 sheets.
                                                                                        Sinclair describes at length his experience with ghosts, this after Kress expressed "objection regarding the number of 'ghosts' in the narrative [of Volume 5]." Sinclair replies, "I'm afraid you are going to have to reconcile yourself to the company of these 'ghosts' because they will be all through the story."
                                                                                        • Folder 43 (MSN/MN 3014-43) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1943 December 6. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                          Sinclair writes of minor changes to the manuscript following Kress's suggestions.
                                                                                          • Folder 44 (MSN/MN 3014-44) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1944 August 4. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                            Sinclair suggests Kress's ill daughter would benefit from the use of vitamins. He says he will send "a big bottle of them" from his friend "Professor Borsook of Cal. Tech." Henry Borsook, Professor of Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology from 1929 to 1968, was the author of Vitamins: What They Are and What They Will Do for You, published in 1940. During World War II he served on the Food and Nutrition Board, and helped draw up the dietary table of Recommended Daily Allowances.
                                                                                            • Folder 45 (MSN/MN 3014-45) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1944 October 13. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                              Sinclair gives Kress publishing advice and reports he has not yet seen Arthur Ford.
                                                                                              • Folder 46 (MSN/MN 3014-46) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1945 March 16. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                Sinclair further discusses Kress's daughter's ill health. He suggests "it must be a case for psychiatry. . . ." He does not recommend psychoanalysis, but goes on at length to describe how "Mrs. [Mary Barker] Eddy was one of the great psychologists. . .an average-minded woman [who] saved my life." Mary Barker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, a religious group that eschewed medical treatment in favor of spiritual healing, believed that human beings created by God are fundamentally perfect and that disease and disability are little more than the products of delusion.
                                                                                                • Folder 47 (MSN/MN 3014-47) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Neville Island, Pennsylvania, 1945 June 22. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                  Sinclair reports his publisher does not like Presidential Errand as the title of Volume Six. He has completed two chapters and resists Kress's "objection" that he did not introduce his characters well enough.
                                                                                                  • Folder 48 (MSN/MN 3014-48) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, 1945 October 15. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                    Sinclair suggests Kress should "try a change of scene" and travel to New York. Due to "bad news," he writes, "I have been through all that and so I can sympathize." Sinclair offers to provide the fare and and the "cost of a couple of weeks in the city," and includes the names and addresses of several publishers who Kress might look to for help.
                                                                                                    • Folder 49 (MSN/MN 3014-49) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, 1945 December 26. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                      Sinclair discusses telepathy and recounts a "strange coincidence."
                                                                                                      • Folder 50 (MSN/MN 3014-50) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1946 July 17. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                        Sinclair offers publishing advice to Kress about the biography Kress hopes to write about him. "I advise you to go on trying some of the regular publishers—that is, those who pay royalties." Kress has contacted Dorrance [Publishing Company], a provider of self-publishing services for authors.
                                                                                                        • Folder 51 (MSN/MN 3014-51) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Little Rock, Arkansas, 1947 September 15. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                          Sinclair reports on smog in Los Angeles and notes he is "working hard on Volume XI." He will send Kress some sections of the manuscript as "soon as the different foreign persons have read it."
                                                                                                          • Folder 52 (MSN/MN 3014-52) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Kingsport, Tennessee, 1948 April 5. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                            Sinclair writes of the difficulty in answering his mail "while at the same time keeping Lanny Budd and all his details in my mind." Sinclair reports he is working on the later chapters of One Clear Call.
                                                                                                            • Folder 53 (MSN/MN 3014-53) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Kingsport, Tennessee, 1948 November 30. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                              Sinclair reveals he "intends to remain a 'Socialist,'" explaining he was never a "'revolutionary' in a Communist sense. . . ." Discussion of a possible war with Russia follows.
                                                                                                              • Folder 54(MSN/MN 3014-54) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Kingsport, Tennessee, 1948 December 7. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                                Sinclair proposes another business arrangement. Sinclair has revised Letters to Judd, his widely distributed pamphlet outlining his views on American capitalism, and asks Kress to promote it to "labor groups all over the country." Sinclair will pay "the cost of the operation plus a reasonable fee for his time." Haldeman Julius, Sinclair's friend and publisher of the "Little Blue Books series, will supply the pamphlets.
                                                                                                                • Folder 55 (MSN/MN 3014-55) Letter: Upton Sinclair, Monrovia, California, to Melville Kress, Kingsport, Tennessee, 1958 October 9. TLS, 1 page on 1 sheet.
                                                                                                                  Sinclair describes his sentiments toward the Soviet Union. "I hoped for the best; but I did not see it. As the years have passed I have been forced to see that their whole policy has lying as its base." "Everytime I said a good word for the Commies I saw that I had been made a fool of; and in the end I dropped them completely. . . ." Writing of Kress's biography he notes, "I'm afraid you won't get far. . .I can't get my own stuff published."