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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Introduction by Carl Jensen

In 1907, Upton Sinclair looked forward 93 years and imagined the year 2000 when capitalism would find its zenith with the construction of The Pleasure Palace, a glittering half-mile-high structure in the middle of Central Park. During the grand opening of the towering building, a scientific experiment with radiumite explodes killing everybody throughout the world except eleven of the people at the Pleasure Palace. They escape the deadly rays by flying high in the sky in a revolutionary 1000-mph airplane called "The Monarch of the Air!" The fortunate eleven survivors struggle to rebuild their lives by creating a capitalistic society. After that fails, along with several other inept efforts, they create a successful utopian society on the lush grounds of a grand country estate in the Pocantico Hills above the Hudson River. Sinclair's life-long vision, "The Cooperative Commonwealth," reigns happily forever after.

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“One of the greatest novelists in the world, the Zola of America.”

“One of the sharpest observers of our time.”

“When people ask me what has happened in my long lifetime, I do not refer them to the newspaper files and to the authorities, but to your novels.”

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Carl Jensen (1929–2015) was born in Brooklyn, NY, served in Air Force intelligence during the Korean War, and later worked in advertising during its Mad Men-era heyday. In the late sixties, realizing that his current occupation did not match his intellectual and humanitarian ambitions, he went back to school and earned his PhD in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In the mid-seventies, observing the increasing stranglehold corporate interests had on U.S. news media, Jensen saw the need for an independent organization capable of monitoring the news and exposing the corporate bias reflected in how events were—or weren’t—portrayed there. This organization became Project Censored, the media watchdog group that to this day continues its work covering stories suppressed or underreported by the mass media. In addition to editing Project Censored’s yearly anthologies, Jensen wrote and edited several other books of media criticism, including The Millennium: A Comedy of the Year 2000 and Stories That Changed America: Muckrakers of the 20th Century.