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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
7,31382483 (3.81)1 / 314
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)

  1. 50
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (kxlly)
  2. 30
    Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (meggyweg)
  3. 10
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    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.
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    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. 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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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 |
Now it's time to learn to make sausage! ( )
  beebowallace | Jun 19, 2015 |
I'm going to stick with a solid 3-star rating for this book because overall, I liked it. There were some parts that I really liked and much that I didn't care for. This book really was a rollercoaster ride (albeit a depressing one) of emotions and plot twists. Following Jurgis through his life in Chicago (and elsewhere) was often a challenge but always exciting. Funnily, I didn't like Jurgis as an immigrant worker, criminal, political muscle, union worker, union detractor, or socialist... the only time I had respect for the main character was when he was a hobo; travelling the country. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
I have heard about this book for decades, and knew about its expose of the meatpacking industry. However, I only read it after chancing to come across it while searching for something else on my Kindle. After a few pages, I was hooked. The story of a family of Lithuanian Immigrants who come to Chicago and end up being consumed by the meatpacking industry and its corollaries, such as canning, is a masterpiece of melodrama. The scenes in the meatpacking plant are vivid and disgusting--but not so much that I didn't have sausage for dinner last night--and the mistreatment of the family, including its women and children, is described in excruciating detail. Perhaps it loses some of its effect because I was expecting it to be really awful (and it was), but what I found most engaging was Sinclair's writing. While occasionally given to a bit of bombast, especially when socialist politics enters the picture, he was an extremely talented writer. Some of the scenes in this book will stick in a reader's mind for ages. The book loses a bit of its intensity when the main character, Jurgis, who has reached the end of his rope is miraculously swept up in Chicago's Democratic Party machine and finds himself living the high life for a time. This gives the author a chance to depict the political corruption of Chicago close up, but the book becomes more and more of a tract rather than a novel. The final chapters, where Jurgis discovers the wonders of Socialism, are a bit reminiscent of EQUALITY, Edward Bellamy's sequel to Looking Backward, although only has one character speak for a few pages about the advantages of the new socialist society. In addition to its meandering conclusion, this book, which is otherwise sympathetic to the poor and downtrodden, uses revolting racial stereotypes to describe the black men who came to Chicago as strike breakers during the meatpackers strike.

If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend you do so. It is, despite its flaws, a riveting read. And its main theme, the exploitation of the masses by the rich elite, is perennially relevant. ( )
  datrappert | Apr 7, 2015 |
This is a very interesting book that covers the meat packing industry in Chicago, the political corruption, and the evils of capitalism. The story revolves around the charcter of Jurgis who is a Lithuanian imigrant. He and his family become used and largely destroyed by the capitalist system of industrialism. The story ends with a hopeful opinion that socialism would overcome and improve the life of the working class. The detail provided by the author is enlightening but the naive belief in socialism is unfounded, although politcal reform was definitely needed. ( )
  GlennBell | Mar 1, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
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.

(summary from another edition)

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