Upton Sinclair. 100%: The Story of a Patriot (1920) 329 pp.
A roman à clef based on the Mooney-Billings case, otherwise known as the Preparedness Day Parade Bombing, in San Francisco, July 22, 1916. In “American City,” Peter Gudge, an earnest, if naïve, young man is in the wrong place at the wrong time when a bomb explodes during a Preparedness Day parade. The police arrest him on suspicion of being one of the dynamiters. Terrified of police torture, Peter will say anything to escape his fate, including admitting to knowing Jim Goober, the Socialist agitator suspected of orchestrating the explosion, and signing a “confession.” But, rather than prosecute Peter, the police send him to infiltrate the “Reds” and work as an informant, feeding information to the police that will help convict Goober and his associate, Biddle. In an appendix at the end of the novel, Sinclair outlines the link with Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, who were tried and convicted of the San Francisco bombing. Mooney was eventually pardoned in 1938. Sinclair was one of America’s greatest muckraking authors. His novel The Jungle has been continuously in print since its publication in 1906; needless to say, 100% has not had quite the same staying power. Also published in 1921 in London by T. Werner Laurie as The Spy. Available in full-text online from Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5776
Setting: “American City” (San Francisco)
Baird & Greenwood 2268
Ahouse, J.  Upton Sinclair, A27