The Great Depression
Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) was an author and socialist political activist. His best known work is The Jungle, a 1906 muckraking assault on the unsanitary and inhumane conditions in the meatpacking industry.
In 1934, Sinclair ran for governor of California on a utopian platform called End Poverty In California (EPIC), which called for unemployed citizens to work in state-sponsored collective factories and farms to produce goods for their own use. Surprisingly, Sinclair won the Democratic primary on this radical platform before losing the general election to Republican Frank Merriam.