Upton Sinclair

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 A police boat on the Chicago river dyed green for St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: iStock/Steve Geer

The annual greening of the Chicago river, which I had the strange privilege of witnessing up close recently, is said to be an environmentally friendly(...)

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency should not be condemned as a climate change ‘denier’. Photograph: Bloomberg

There are several important reasons to enhance the public understanding of science, including explaining how the natural world works, explaining how e(...)

Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump jeers the media in front a crowd of supporters in July  in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photograph:  John Moore/Getty Images

Richard Ford My old mentor and friend Shelby Foote used to say that a person couldn’t understand the US without understanding the American civil wa(...)

It was Maggie and her implacable ideology who made refusing to do a U-turn the ultimate test of political virility: “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.”  Photograph:  PA

U-turns? We’ve had a few. Simon Coveney on the green bin charges. Fianna Fáil on Fine Gael in government. Labour and Frankfurt’s way. Labour and thi(...)

A new report claims workers in plants run by the largest US poultry producers are regularly being denied bathroom breaks. File photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg News

Workers in plants run by the largest US poultry producers are regularly being denied bathroom breaks and as a result some are reduced to wearing diape(...)

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders smiles as he waves to the crowd at his 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary victory rally in Concord, New Hampshire February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

It is a measure of the radical mood of America that virtually every presidential candidate who has so far come to the fore present themselves as an op(...)

Paul Thomas Anderson: “You mellow out as you get older . . . There is less fighting than there used to be. I used to think that I had to plant a flag and talk louder than anybody else.”

Have we killed Paul Thomas Anderson? We are in Paris. The director is nearing the end of two days’ publicity for his elegiac, pretzel- plotted (...)

‘Seamus Heaney suggested that if the American national myth is the frontier, the Irish national myth is the bog.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Through such writers as Beckett, Shaw and Wilde, Irish literature cannot be accused of ignoring philosophy, but very often it features as the butt (...)

Bill Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks during a panel session at the 44th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Photograph: EPA

The figures in the Oxfam report were scarcely believable – the richest 85 people in the world share a combined wealth, about €1.2 trillion, equal to t(...)

If, as the American philosopher William James observes, “the stirring of our flesh with picturesque mystery and gloom” makes “a work of art romantic”,(...)