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The Jungle (100th Anniversary Edition)by Upton Sinclair
Synopses & Reviews
“I wrote with tears and anguish, pouring into the pages all the pain that life had meant to me.”—Upton Sinclair
Ranking alongside Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a novel that has galvanized public opinion, The Jungle tells the story of Jurgis Rudkus, a young immigrant who came to the New World to find a better life. Instead, he is confronted with the horrors of the slaughterhouses, barbarous working conditions, crushing poverty, disease, and despair.
Upton Sinclair vividly depicted factory life in Chicago in the first years of the twentieth century, and the harrowing scenes he related aroused the indignation of the public and forced a government investigation that led to the passage of pure food laws. A hundred years later, The Jungle continues to pack the same emotional power it did when it was first published.
"[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 classic 1906 novel, a political commentary on the conditions endured by factory laborers in Chicago that eventually led to the national reform of the meat packing industry and passage of pure food laws, presents the story of an immigrant family who struggles to survive in the New World. Includes a new afterword by Dr. Barry Sears. Original.
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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