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The Jungle: The Uncensored Original Edition (1906)

by Upton Sinclair

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1,836347,121 (3.75)10
The horrifying conditions in the meatpacking industry in the early 1900's are revealed through the experiences of immigrants as they try to make a living by working in the Chicago stockyards.

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Some books are pleasures, some are works of stunning artistic beauty. Some are tools, like a cookbook, or the Bible, or Atlas Shrugged. This book is a tool, meant to instruct people about capitalism and socialism.

And is it just me, or does anyone else think that Sinclair was being disingenuous when he said “I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach?” It's kind of like saying, "SEX!!! Now that I've got your attention..."

Full disclosure, too...I made it over halfway through the audiobook version, then resumed with the graphic novel version. Plus I don't eat meat. ( )
  FinallyJones | Nov 17, 2021 |
This is a horror masterpiece. Horror because it was real and because it is real.

Read for provoking thoughts on
-immigrants/the masses
-politics (the boss!)
-& socialism

But, I would add, that I don't think it presents the right solution on the surface. I think it proposes the easy solution. And the easy solution never works. It's been tried.
But, if you look a little deeper, it poses a good solution. Not a political movement, but community support and care. A sense of belonging, of contributing, of a higher purpose than just the daily grind. And it's hard for people living hand to mouth to ever find that. Trust me, I kinda know.

Books to be read in tandem with this: Fast Food Nation, The Home We Build Together & Lost Connections.
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
This is one of a handful of books I've read multiple times. And not because of the fascinating, detailed descriptions of the slaughterhouse, but because of the story of Jurgis Rudkus, an immigrant, his wife, Ona, and their family living in Chicago. ( )
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
This book makes me appreciate not living through those times. It's horrific all that they went through. They try and try and try and just end up more impoverished. This story is about an immigrant family moving to Chicago after the Industrial Revolution. Factories were where most found work. This is also the story of the infamous Chicago Meatpacking Industry. It's gross. The conditions are horrific. There were no laws to protect workers or assistance for the sick or injured. People died all the time. It was a grim existence. Families came to America to work for a better life and worked themselves to death literally in just a few short years or months. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Feb 17, 2021 |
Half a century before her time, Upton Sinclair entirely invalidates everything written by Ayn Rand. He perfectly illustrates why capitalism is like a jungle, in which the only way to survive is to be the most wicked and brutal, killing and swindling for moments of relief. It is a life in which no one is happy and everyone lives in fear and filth, living only by the misfortune of others. Political freedom is useless in a nation of wage slavery, and a government that does not exercise control over the economy is a government in name only. ( )
  celestialfarmer | Feb 1, 2021 |
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The horrifying conditions in the meatpacking industry in the early 1900's are revealed through the experiences of immigrants as they try to make a living by working in the Chicago stockyards.

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