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The Jungle (Dover Thrift Editions) by Upton…

The Jungle (Dover Thrift Editions) (original 1906; edition 2001)

by Upton Sinclair

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,56886453 (3.82)1 / 318
Title:The Jungle (Dover Thrift Editions)
Authors:Upton Sinclair
Info:Dover Publications (2001), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Kindle, Your library
Tags:American literature, Classics, 1001, English language

Work details

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1906)

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Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
Review: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.

Sinclair was hoping to promote socialism and help the poor when he wrote this book. With his great writing and clear descriptions of unsanitary meat packing process among a factory of sawdust, poison rats, and dirty rain water all ground together with the meat it angered the public and led Congress to establish the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inspect the nation’s food supply.

The story provides a searing description of life among poor immigrants and meat packing practices in the first decade of the 20th century. Sinclair also attacks the meat packers of Chicago, the great manufacturers, safety in the steel mills, corrupt politicians, the police, dishonest real estate developers and whoever else who maintained injustice to the Polish and Lithuanian immigrants. The book was slow paced in some areas but it was worth the read. The only fault I found was the last one hundred pages Sinclair uses a different style of political-socialist rhetoric which gave the story a complex ending.

It begins with Jurgis Rudkus who is a strong and hard working newcomer from Lithuania who struggles to make a home for his family and soon wears down by his exhausting labor in the city’s stockyards. One issue after another burdens his impoverished family, and he only responds that he will work harder. Jurgis‘s family eventually splits up because of the hardships they faced in a cold-hearted city where many immigrants worked long hours for poverty wages. Jurgis lost his wife, a son, a mother-in-law and a sister and he himself left the Chicago area and traveled around as a transient for a year and then circling back to Chicago to find his mother-in-law working in a brothel while trying to help support his sister who lived across town with her children in the slums of Chicago…..

While reading I was interested and followed this family to the end. The family quickly learns that the United States is not the great Promised Land they believed it to be. I followed the situations Jurgis and his family were forced to live, and the way they fought to support themselves. The descriptions of the meat packing factories were horrible and the description of the type of meat and gross additives that was sent out to places to sell makes me wondering… what is in the food that I eat….

I will say the book made me sad but it was based on reality even though it was many years ago….

---This story was created as a Play on April 22, 1907 at The Fifth Avenue Theartre in NY. Producer, Mo Hayder Unknown performances.
---A silent B/W film was created May 25, 1914 by All Star Feature Film Corp. directed by George Irving and Jack Pratt. Margaret Mayo-1882-1951 was the writer and the actress.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
I don't generally review the "classic" titles I read, because who the hell am I? But I wanted to tackle this one. Bear in mind that I seldom, if ever, enjoy a novel with a Message. The Jungle, of course, is the famous muckraking novel that brought the horrific conditions of the Chicago stockyards to the public eye. Good for it.

The protagonist is Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant who personally faces every possible indignity that a worker could suffer under capitalism. The parade of horribles actually became funny after awhile: of course one of his relatives turns to whoring. Of course another is eaten by rats. Jurgis and the other characters are so thinly drawn, and the episodes so clearly crafted to make a point, that I felt no emotional involvement, not even outrage. Granted, if the book were telling me something I didn't already know, the outrage factor might have come into play, but I was reading it as a novel, not a report.

I have never read a book that more clearly called out for one more chapter. The book ends with Jurgis, homeless, hungry and freezing, stumbling into a socialist meeting. He is an instant convert to the cause and is taken in by the kindly socialist owner of a hotel. The last 20 pages or so consist of a group of men debating various points of socialist theory, and Jurgis disappears from the narrative completely.

But here's my ending, and it absolutely fits with the rhythm of the book. Throughout the novel, Jurgis plugs away against adversity and always thinks he has finally caught a break. Then the other shoe drops and life sucks once again. So, he falls in with these nice socialists and instead of a worldwide worker's revolution he encounters: Terror. Torture. The Gulags. Fooled again! ( )
  CasualFriday | Jan 31, 2016 |
If you want to read about happiness, Upton Sinclair probably isn't the author for you. The lesson taken away from the book was how food should be inspected by the government, but the lesson meant was the horrible working and living conditions people were forced to live in, and that something should be done about them. ( )
  Michael_Rose | Jan 10, 2016 |
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, is the finest example of “muckraking” journalism produced in the 20th century and led to sweeping changes in the way food is prepared in America. Written in the form of a novel, featuring a Lithuanian immigrant, the story revolves around industrial practices in and around Chicago around the turn of the century, most particularly the Beef Trust and slaughterhouses of the area.

As you can imagine, much of the prose is literally revolting, dealing with rats, excrement, garbage, filth, inhumane living conditions and all that entails. Judged strictly on the basis of the writing and the story itself, the novel is moderately entertaining for about three quarters of way, before turning into a propaganda piece for the Socialist party. At that point, it becomes virtually unreadable as dozens of pages are consumed with polemics issued by party hacks (akin to Atlas Shrugged on the other end of the political spectrum).

Though perhaps lacking as a novel, the impact of the work cannot be ignored and must be viewed as a seminal effort in that regard. ( )
  santhony | Dec 9, 2015 |
The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. Many readers were most concerned with his exposure of health violations and unsanitary practices in the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century, based on an investigation he did for a socialist newspaper. The book depicts working class poverty, the lack of social supports, harsh and unpleasant living and working conditions, and a hopelessness among many workers. These elements are contrasted with the deeply rooted corruption of people in power. A review by the writer Jack London called it, "the Uncle Tom's Cabin of wage slavery." Sinclair was considered a muckraker, or journalist who exposed corruption in government and business. He first published the novel in serial form in 1905 in the Socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, between February 25, 1905, and November 4, 1905. In 1904, Sinclair had spent seven weeks gathering information while working incognito in the meatpacking plants of the Chicago stockyards for the newspaper. It was published as a book on February 26, 1906 by Doubleday and in a subscribers' edition. ~Amazon
  Susannahmary89 | Oct 7, 2015 |
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Upton Sinclairprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickstein, MorrisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To the workingmen of America
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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.
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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)

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

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