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The Jungle (Modern Library Paperbacks) by…

The Jungle (Modern Library Paperbacks) (original 1906; edition 2006)

by Upton Sinclair, Jane Jacobs (Introduction), Anthony Arthur (Afterword)

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8,845102543 (3.81)1 / 377
Title:The Jungle (Modern Library Paperbacks)
Authors:Upton Sinclair
Other authors:Jane Jacobs (Introduction), Anthony Arthur (Afterword)
Info:Modern Library (2006), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1906)

  1. 60
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (kxlly)
  2. 30
    Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (meggyweg)
  3. 10
    The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Theme of workers' rights
  4. 10
    For the Win by Cory Doctorow (weener)
    weener: For the Win is kind of like a modern-day version of the Jungle: a heavy-handed, painful, yet readable book about labor rights.
  5. 10
    The Death Ship by B. Traven (owishlist2)
  6. 10
    The People of the Abyss by Jack London (meggyweg)
  7. 00
    My Year of Meat by Ruth Ozeki (TheLittlePhrase)
  8. 11
    Independent People by Halldor Laxness (rwjerome)
    rwjerome: These books share surprisingly similar main characters who both experience extreme misfortune. Interestingly enough, both books also showcase slightly misplaced political overtones.
  9. 00
    Yonnondio by Tillie Olsen (quilted_kat)
  10. 12
    Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition, and Health by Marion Nestle (starboard)
    starboard: If you are interested in the non-fiction current state of food science and regulation, read Marion Nestle's books. She writes well and is not overly technical.

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Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
As a novel, this book is less than perfect. The protagonist is more of a plot device than a character. In spite of that, I am glad I read this book as historical fiction, and as an important work that led to food safety reforms. The author was hoping for labour law reform, but his work nonetheless provides a chilling perspective into the food industry and it is not surprising that it created a push for reform. In my view, it is worth reading. ( )
  LynnB | Apr 2, 2019 |
It is impossible for me to review this without appearing to be pissy. The work itself is barely literary. The Jungle explores and illustrates the conditions of the meatpacking industry. Its presence stirred outcry which led to much needed reforms. Despite the heroics of tackling the Beef Trust, Upton Sinclair saw little need in the actual artful. The protagonist exists only to conjoin the various pieces of reportage. There isn't much emotional depth afforded, the characters' motivations often appear skeptical. I was left shaking my head on many a turn, especially towards the end where entire speeches from the American Socialist party compete with esoteric findings of left-leaning social scientists from the era (around 1905).

Despite these shortcomings as a novel, the opening half is often harrowing. Graphic descriptions of hellish work conditions, poor food quality and lack of social safety net reached towards a very personal conclusion: I am EVER so grateful that I didn't live 110 years ago and was forced to compete economically under those conditions. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
OMG. This story goes from bad to really bad to worse. It is so bleak and horrid it left me in a foul mood. Sinclair made it points and more. The essential truth that our economic system impacts the lowest income people more harshly is still true but I hope there was exaggeration in the story. ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |

The Jungle was published in 1906, and the quote above is its final sentence. Zoom ahead one hundred years into its future and an argument could be made that these words were prophetic, indeed.

Surely, this novel is an example of agitprop and, as such, it is difficult to read at times. I found the expository sections too didactic, not because I don't like details and descriptions, but because I felt the force of an unasked-for sermon being unleashed on me. At times, I wanted to start playing the game "Top 20 Things in The Jungle You Should Never Do."

Midway through, however, the story left the hyperbole behind for a while, and I found myself enjoying it as entertainment - until the last couple of chapters delivered the unrelenting message which was the purpose of the book: Socialism will be the working man's utopia.

The book had its moments. ( )
  ReneEldaBard | Oct 15, 2018 |
First novel that I ever read...Rollins College, 1963 ( )
  Brightman | Mar 3, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (61 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Upton Sinclairprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boomsma, GraaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dickstein, MorrisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kagie, RudieAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spiegel, MauraIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the workingmen of America
First words
It was four o'clock when the ceremony was over and the carriages began to arrive.
Into this wild-beast tangle these men had been born without their consent, they had taken part in it because they could not help it; that they were in gaol was no disgrace to them, for the game had never been fair, the dice were loaded.  They were swindlers and thieves of pennies and dimes, and they had been trapped and put out of the way by the swindlers and thieves of millions of dollars.
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This book was written by Upton Sinclair, not Sinclair Lewis. To have your book show up on the correct author page, please change the author name. Thank you.
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Book description
In 1906, The Jungle was published and became an immediate success, selling more than 150,000 copies. A best seller overseas, it was published in 17 languages over the next few years. After President Theodore Roosevelt read Jungle, he ordered an investigation into the meat packing industry, and ultimately the passing of the Meat Inspection Act was a result of Sinclair’s book.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743487621, Mass Market Paperback)



Upton Sinclair's unflinching chronicle of crushing poverty and oppression set in Chicago in the early 1900s.


• A concise introduction that gives readers important background information

• A chronology of the author's life and work

• A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context

• An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations

• Detailed explanatory notes

• Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work

• Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction

• A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience

Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:18 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Describes the conditions of the Chicago stockyards through the eyes of a young immigrant struggling in America.

(summary from another edition)

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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