“If we are the greatest nation the sun ever shone upon, it would seem to be mainly because we have been able to goad our wage-earners to this pitch of frenzy.”
--- Upton Sinclair, The Jungle
The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the harsh conditions and exploited lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. However, most readers were more 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.
A film version of the novel was made in 1914, but it has since become lost.
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During his lifetime, Upton Sinclair authored dozens of books dealing with political and social questions, The Coal War and Oil! being two representative examples. Sinclair was also a socialist and political activist almost his entire adult life. After being massively outspent by business interests he narrowly missed being elected governor of California in 1936. The Jungle, written while he was still in his 20s, is by far his best known book.From the Back Cover:
An ardent activist, champion of political reform, novelist, and progressive journalist, Upton Sinclair is perhaps best known today for The Jungle his devastating expose of the meat-packing industry. A protest novel he privately published in 1906, the book was a shocking revelation of intolerable labor practices and unsanitary working conditions in the Chicago stockyards. It quickly became a bestseller, arousing public sentiment and resulting in such federal legislation as the Pure Food and Drug Act.-The brutally grim story of a Slavic family who emigrates to America, The Jungle tells of their rapid and inexorable descent into numbing poverty, moral degradation, and social and economic despair. Vulnerable and isolated, the family of Jurgis Rudkus struggles unsuccessfully to survive in an urban jungle.
A powerful view of turn-of-the-century poverty, graft, and corruption, this fiercely realistic American classic is still required reading in many history and literature classes. It will continue to haunt readers long after they've finished the last page."
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015. Book Condition: Fair. Ships from Reno, NV. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP89903670