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The Jungle (Modern Library Classics)by Upton Sinclair
Synopses & Reviews
"When people ask me what has happened in my long lifetime I do not refer them to the newspaper files and to the authorities, but to [Sinclair's] novels." George Bernard Shaw
"[A] brilliant study of the great industries of Chicago....The language Mr. Sinclair employs is appropriate to the scene, the action, and the characters of his drama....The experienced reader will at once perceive that Mr. Sinclair has taken Zola for his model. The likeness is more than striking — it fairly forces itself upon the attention of the reader." New York Times
One of the most harrowing novels ever written, this vivid depiction of the meatpacking industry in Chicago not only aroused the indignation of the public but was instrumental in bringing about the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.
In this powerful book we enter the world of Jurgis Rudkus, a young Lithuanian immigrant who arrives in America fired with dreams of wealth, freedom, and opportunity. And we discover, with him, the astonishing truth babout "Packingtown," the busy, flourishing, filthy Chicago stockyards, where new world visions perish in a jungle of human suffering. Upton Sinclair, master of the" muckraking" novel, here explores the workingman's lot at the turn of the century: the backbreaking labor, the injustices of "wage-slavery," the bewildering chaos of urban life.
The Jungle, a story so shocking that it launched a government investigation, recreates this startling chapter of our history in unflinching detail. Always a vigorous champion of political reform, Sinclair is also a gripping storyteller, and his 1906 novel stands as one of the most important — and moving — works in the literature of social change.
The landmark novel about the urban workingman's struggle against industry and "wage-slavery, " with a new Introduction by the legendary Jane Jacobs. This edition is set from the 1906 first edition.
About the Author
During his lifetime, Upton Sinclair authored dozens of books dealing with political and social questions, The Coal War and Oil! being two representative examples. Sinclair was also a socialist and political activist almost his entire adult life. He pioneered the kind of journalism known as "muckraking." After being massively outspent by business interests he narrowly missed being elected governor of California in 1936.
His best-known novel, written while he was still in his 20s, was The Jungle, an expose of the appalling and unsanitary conditions in the meat-packing industry. The Jungle was influential in obtaining passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act.
Sinclair's interests ranged over a wide variety of topics, in his many books and articles. He would receive a Pulitzer Prize for a later novel about Hitler's rise to power. His contemporary, the writer Edmund Wilson, would say of him: "Practically alone among the American writers of his generation, [Sinclair] put to the American public the fundamental questions raised by capitalism in such a way that they could not escape them."
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