As we all know, literature has much more power than polemics. The Food & Drug Administration owes its existence to an Upton Sinclair novel, "The Jungle." Efforts to improve the lot of farm workers drew their initial sustenance from John Steinbeck's novel, "The Grapes of Wrath." And the modern consciousness on treatment of African-Americans can be traced to Richard Wright's 1940 novel, "Native Son." Indeed, literary critic Irving Howe declared: "The day 'Native Son' appeared, American culture was changed forever."
In the United Kingdom, where I have spent much of the past year, shareholder activism is not nearly as common as it is in the United States, but on one issue - animal rights - no other country in the world can match the Brits for their ferocious attacks on companies which test drugs on animals.