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The Jungle

Sinclair, Upton (Book - 1986 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Jungle
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One of the most powerful, provocative and enduring novels to expose social injustice ever published in the United States, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle contains an introduction by Ronald Gottesman in Penguin Classics. Upton Sinclair's dramatic and deeply moving story exposed the brutal conditions in the Chicago stockyards at the turn of the nineteenth century and brought into sharp moral focus the appalling odds against which immigrants and other working people struggled for their share of the American Dream. Denounced by the conservative press as an un-American libel on the meatpacking industry, and condemned for Sinclair's unabashed promotion of Socialism and unionisation as a solution to the exploitation of workers, the book was championed by more progressive thinkers, including then President Theodore Roosevelt, and was a major catalyst to the passing of the Pure Food and Meat Inspection act, which has tremendous impact to this day. Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) was born into an impoverished Baltimore family, the son of an alcoholic liquor salesman. At fifteen, he began writing a series of dime novels to pay for his education at the City College of New York, and he was later accepted to do graduate work at Columbia. While there, he published a number of novels, but his breakthrough was The Jungle (1906), a scathing indictment of the vile health and working conditions of the Chicago meat-packing industry. After a dalliance with politics, Sinclair returned to novel-writing, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his account of the Nazi takeover of Germany in Dragon's Teeth (1942). If you enjoyed The Jungle, you might like Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March, also available in Penguin Classics.
Authors: Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968
Title: The jungle
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 1986
Characteristics: xxxv, 411 p. ;,20 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Upton Sinclair ; with an introduction by Ronald Gottesman
Notes: "This edition first published in The Penguin American Library 1985 ... Reprinted in Penguin Classics 1986"--T.p. verso
"First published in the USA by Doubleday, Page 1906"--T.p. verso
ISBN: 0140390316
9780140390315
Branch Call Number: FICTION SINCLAIR 1986
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxiii-xxxv)
Subject Headings: Lithuanian Americans Fiction Chicago (Ill.) Fiction Working class Fiction Stockyards Fiction Immigrants Fiction
Genre/Form: Political fiction
Topical Term: Lithuanian Americans
Working class
Stockyards
Immigrants
LCCN: 84026393
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If you listen to the book, the narrator does an excellent job keeping it lively. I can;t wait to actually read it for myself!

this book also helped with the Progressive Movement and created may federal agency's we'd dare not live without.

Jan 20, 2012
  • bryndisoi rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I wouldn't call this a history book. For the appropriate age group, it is a great novel and a very enthralling story.

This is my second time reading this book, I don't think it will ever get old.

In response to sbenger's comment, it was published in 1906 so it focuses on Packingtown, Chicago during that time and before, not the 20s.

Jul 18, 2011
  • dailia rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Not the easiest read. It is definately a history book, but it really does highlight the conditions for humans and animals in the meat packing industry. It is a definate read for anyone interested in the welfare issues in the industry.

I remember reading this in undergrad (I have a degree in English lit). It's a great, harrowing novel in the journalistic muckraking tradition. Written by Upton Sinclair who set out to write a series of articles about the meat packing plants of the 20's, was it? And found conditions so horrible that he turned it into an entire novel. Readers became so outraged that they started rioting, or something, and all this led to the creation of the FDA.

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