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Encyclopedia > EPIC Movement

Short for End Poverty in California, EPIC was an effort for then well-known muckraking writer and former Socialist Upton Sinclair to implement Socialist reforms through California's Democratic Party during the Great Depression by recruiting supporters into the party and then securing that party's nomination for Governor of California.

The EPIC plan was based on Sinclair's proposal that the state of California take over idle factories and farmland, which would then be run as cooperatives. The idea was to use these cooperatives to put the unemployed back to work. To run the cooperatives, Sinclair proposed the formation of an agency to be called the California Authority for Production. The proposal received widespread attention, and supporters formed EPIC clubs to promote it.

Sinclair's movement aroused the strong opposition of business leaders and Republicans in the state, while many moderate Democrats, who found Sinclair's proposals extreme, rallied around a third party candidate. The effort to stop Sinclair marked the birth of modern media politics including the use of ad agencies, attack ads, and professional campaign strategists.

Upton Sinclair received 879,537 votes, or 37% of the vote in the 1934 election. His Republican opponent won the election with 1,138,620 votes, or 48%. A third-party candidate took 13% of the vote.


  • I, Candidate for Governor, and How I Got Licked (1935), by Upton Sinclair (ISBN 0-520-08198-6)
  • The Campaign of the Century (1992), by Greg Mitchell (ISBN 0-679-74854-7)
  • Endangered Dreams (1996), by (Kevin Starr) (ISBN 0-19-510080-8)

  Results from FactBites:
Inside the DEA, DEA Programs, El Paso Intelligence Center (380 words)
Initially, EPIC focused on the U.S.-Mexico border and its primary interest was drug movement and immigration violations.
EPIC also coordinates training for state and local officers in the methods of highway drug and drug currency interdiction through its Operation Pipeline program.
EPIC personnel coordinate and conduct training seminars throughout the United States, covering such topics as indicators of trafficking and concealment methods used by couriers.
  More results at FactBites »



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