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The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair - Classic Fiction

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If you eat, read this book...

  • Dec 1, 2008
  • by
Upton Sinclair was required reading for me back in the good ol' school days. This was one book on the required list that I enjoyed. It is a compelling and horrible story about turn of the century business practices and industry's complete lack of compassion for human beings.

I had forgotten how good it was and recently re-read it. It is the story of Jurgis and his family, who immigrate to America, and who are misled from the very beginning, exploited by everyone along their path for the few pennies that could be squeezed from them. They are charged for just being brought to America, then cheated on their home purchase, obtain jobs that underpay and overwork them, develop health problems from unsanitary and inhumane working conditions, are forced into poverty and to live and work in squalor, and finally they either die or their spirits break.

The story is heartbreaking especially because of all the truth that was included in it. The meatpacking industry was indeed a brutal, unsanitary, and inhumane industry in the early 1900's, the new Industrial Processors had no incentive or reason to produce clean products or working areas. Immigrants were pouring into the country by the hundreds and were seen only has disposable labor rather than human beings.
Wow, great book! But then toward the end Mr. Sinclair does pull out his spiel on Socialism, which he was into at the time, and the pace of the book slows down a great deal. Without this unwanted lecture on the wonders of Socialism, the book would have been a 5 star.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

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Quick Tip by . October 07, 2010
Muckraking journalism at its best. You'll never eat sausage again.
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2010
Good up until a certain point - then the focus and feel of the entire novel shifts and sort of messes it up. But hey, as long as kids aren't working near meat grinders anymore...
Quick Tip by . August 26, 2010
'The Jungle' is heartbreaking and in vivid detail brings home the injustice of immigrants arriving in America and living in squalor.
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
You will not want to eat for months after reading this but you will gain a vivid insight into the challenges of immigrants in American history.
Quick Tip by . July 16, 2010
Brilliant and disturbing in a real way, "The Jungle, " will ensure your hesitancy to work in a meat plant... if ya, you know, ever wanted to.
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
Do not go into this expecting a novel. Expect a socialist pamphlet ever so thinly veiled with a story. There's never really any good commentary and the characters are very flat throughout.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
really interesting look at an immigrant community that is often overlooked in history
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Depressing and shocking at points. Makes you happy that things have changed.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Maybe it would be wise to eat this on a day you don't plan on eating any meat.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
This is the only novel I remember reading for high school English classes. And I'm a high school English teacher now! This story really nailed me with the systematic break-down of a once proud and strapping young man. Talk about a cruel world slowly crushing us.
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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Product Description
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 about "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 if our history in unflinching  detail. Always a vigorous champion on 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.
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ISBN-10: 0553212451
ISBN-13: 978-0553212457
Author: Upton Sinclair
Genre: Classic Fiction
Publisher: Bantam Classics; 1 edition (September 1, 1981)
Date Published: 1906
Format: Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages, Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
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1984 (British first edition)

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