The Jungle

Sinclair, Upton

Book - 1986
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Jungle
"Practically alone among the American writers of his generation," wrote Edmund Wilson, "[Sinclair] put to the American public the fundamental questions raised by capitalism in such a way that they could not escape them." When it was first published in 1906, The Jungle exposed the inhumane conditions of Chicago's stockyards and the laborer's struggle against industry and "wage slavery." It was an immediate bestseller and led to new regulations that forever changed workers' rights and the meatpacking industry. A direct descendant of Dickens's Hard Times , it remains the most influential workingman's novel in American literature.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 1986
ISBN: 0140390316
Branch Call Number: FICTION SINCLAIR 1986
Characteristics: xxxv, 411 p. ;,20 cm


From Library Staff

"The Jungle is a vivid portrait of the life and death immigrant experience in the harrowing Chicago stockyards. For a literary work, its influence has been extraordinary. It is widely credited with awakening the public fury that led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)... Read More »

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Jun 16, 2013
  • GLNovak rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This book is an indictment of the greed of the capitalist industrialists and the inhuman way they made their fortunes in the early 1900's. We follow a poor Lithuanian as he and his family try to make a better life in the boomtimes of Chicago when all the trains led to the meat packing district. We have our noses rubbed in the filth of the business as well as the filth of the managers. No surprise that our little family suffers one degradation and devastating disappointment after another. Meant to stir up awareness of conditions for the 'common man', Sinclair heaped all he could on those defenseless heads, and he was successful. Labour laws changed, food laws changed and consumers became more knowledgeable about the origins of their goods. Unions were born and the Communist Party gained a foot-hold. Read this is stages as you might be overwhelmed otherwise.

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.

Sep 23, 2009

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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