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The Jungle (Wadsworth Classics) [Paperback]

Upton Sinclair
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: 17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

12 Aug 2004 0534521797 978-0534521790
Exposing conditions of the meat-packing industry where many immigrants found themselves slaving away during the early 20th century, THE JUNGLE offered social and political insight that instigated the approval of additional rights for women as well as industry regulations.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc (12 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0534521797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0534521790
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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When people ask me what has happened in my long lifetime I do not refer them to the newspaper files and to the authorities, but to [Sinclair s] novels. --George Bernard Shaw --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. (September 20, 1878 – November 25, 1968), was an American author and one-time candidate for governor of California who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle (1906). It exposed conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. Time magazine called him "a man with every gift except humor and silence." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE JUNGLE 18 Oct 2005
I had never heard of Upton Sinclair until I stumbled on this book in a charity shop. I found it rivettingly horrible with it's graphic descriptions of a slaughterhouse and the conditions of the meat packing industry in Chicago around 1910. The book goes off the boil later but it's still a great read and like all great books it ushered in change when Theodore Roosevelt read it. I immediately bought another book called OIL! but I didn't find this in the same class as The Jungle. Sinclair seems to carefully research the industry he is writing about and this is what makes the Jungle a great book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping, horrifying novel 11 Oct 2009
By Sarah A. Brown VINE VOICE
I bought this book on the recommendation of a colleague, having only vaguely heard of it before. I found the opening section of the book, the account of Jurgis' wedding, just a little off putting as the reader is introduced to a bewilderingly large cast of characters in quick succession. However the novel soon becomes intensely absorbing as we follow the fortunes of Jurgis and his extended family as they strive to secure - and then keep - various gruelling, badly paid and often extremely dangerous jobs in Chicago's meat packing industry.

The book is highly polemical - very similar to Robert Tressell's `Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' in many ways - as it demonstrates the dangers of a laissez faire economy, tracing the journey of a hopeful, hard working and rather conservative group of people to despair, death, and prostitution. The hero, Jurgis, begins the story a starry eyed believer in the American Dream but is forced to realize that the system exploits the labour of the young and strong, and abandons the sick and the old.

The family's problems begin when they are swindled into buying a house by a developer who fails to reveal all the hidden charges and penalties - but this disaster seems trivial compared to what follows. Sinclair's cool and forensic exposition of the various horrific situations his characters find themselves in adds to the novel's power. 'The Jungle' is not for the squeamish, and Sinclair's accounts of the various disgusting practices of the meat industry are as gruesomely compelling as Orwell's stories of Paris restaurant kitchens.

As a modern reader in the West I found myself alternating between relief that things have changed for the better and realization that in some ways - and in some places - things aren't so very different
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Jungle 31 Mar 2010
This book is a MUST read for anyone who is interested in what is wrong with food processing.

It charts the lives of an immigrant family, who start off healthy and have money, they end up in Chicago, and the first year they are healthy, after a year of poor work conditions and adulterated food, things start to happen to them...

A very good read, and puts a lot of things in perspective.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laissez-faire exposed. 15 Mar 2005
There are without a doubt better novels than "The Jungle". A great novel was not Sinclair's aim however. His aim was to point out the vile conditions that existed among working Americans in the early twentieth century. Conditions that were so awful that a visit to some workers in New York a few years before this book came out began to change young Theodore Roosevelt from a conservative to a progressive. Along the way Sinclair shocked the American public with the filth they were buying as quality meat.
Sinclair heaps horror after horror on Jurgis and his family. Almost to the point of overkill but again this was ment to be a work that shocked America and like "Uncle Tom's Cabin" before it "The Jungle" painted a worse case picture. Unregulated capitalism was exposed as the beast it was and still to an extent is with words like, "there was no place in it where a man counted for anything against a dollar." Sinclair was not out to improve the quality of food but that is what this book is most credited with. His real intent was to promote Socialism and in that to some extent he failed. However fear of the radical change Sinclair was after prompted many progressive reforms. Better a little change than a revolution.
In short, if you are looking for a great novel look elsewhere. Still, one needs to read this book for a look at where unregulated laissez-faire capitalism leads. As the calls increase to do away with government involvement in the regulation of business this book becomes more and more something that every American should read. Greed is a powerful thing and this book shows just how far some people will go in the quest for money. Powerful at times and sometimes a little off course this work by Upton Sinclair should always serve as a reminder of what was and what might be again.
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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
When I read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" in high school I had to keep reminding myself that that novel was written in 1906, otherwise I would never be able to eat another hot dog the rest of my life. Although muckraking is a term used to describe journalistic exposes, "The Jungle" functioned much the same way by bringing instant notoriety to the American meatpacking industry. In his story of the Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkus and his family, Sinclair revealed the unsanitary, dangerous, and inhumane conditions that existed in Chicago's stockyards and meat-packing houses. When the novel was published it became front-page news across the nation and President Theodore Roosevelt invited Sinclair to the White House to discuss his book. Because of this book the sales of pre-packed meat in the United States was cut in half and the public outrage would lead to the passage of both the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Beef Inspection Act.
Originally, Sinclair's story was published serially in "The Appeal to Reason," a socialist weekly and was dedicated to "The Workingmen of America." Clearly, Sinclair intended "The Jungle" to be a clarion call to socialism and a plea for the end of wage slavery, and ultimately he was disappointed by the reaction to his novel, writing once, "I aimed at the public's heart and by accident I hit it in the stomach." In this graphic novel adaptation of "The Jungle," artist Peter Kuper and his co-writer Emily Russell (who I believe is his daughter) clearly make an effort to get back to the basics and refocus the story so that this time it hits the heart.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars and a good writer can have such a good effect
Harrowing, pure and simple, and a good writer can have such a good effect. The realism of the narrative convinces us of the plight of immigrants, and underwrites hopelessness. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Hank
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jungle - historical account or socialist propoganda?
An incredible account of the appalling conditions suffered by thousands of migrant workers in the Chicago meat processing industry in 1900s Chicago, at times horrific, hilarious,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Harriet Denning
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine
nice and neat, fit to the description, look like a new one, on time deliverance, in short, not bad !
Published 9 months ago by Jeremy Ho
5.0 out of 5 stars history again
this is a really good writer, being an interested journalist and a man of action. the book leaves a strange impression on the reader, I think, because it's at the same time... Read more
Published 14 months ago by tiza
4.0 out of 5 stars The pursuit of the American dream for meat in the 1890s
I found this modern classic in a charity shop (in a 1965 edition) and reading the back realised it was just my sort of book - imagining it an obscure unknown work yet later... Read more
Published 19 months ago by H. Tee
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jungle (American Library) Upton Sinclair
The delivery was very quick and have no complaints. The book is of good quolity. I still haven't read it, but it is waiting on my night table for its time to be openned as it is... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ausra
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware of text size
The information about the book says that this version is 448 pages. The one that I am just about to return is only 212 pages. Read more
Published 23 months ago by bp9
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and impressive, though descending into polemic.
Jurgis, a strong, simple man, brings his extended family from Lithuania to Chicago, in hope of a better life. Read more
Published on 24 Aug 2012 by Jason Mills
4.0 out of 5 stars Socialism gets in way of a good story
The story starts off like so many immigrant tales and there is a beautiful description of the workings of the meat packing industry which would probably not feel too wrong even... Read more
Published on 28 July 2012 by S. Zacharias
5.0 out of 5 stars Effective muckraking...
Muckraking is a word which originates from an illusion to Pilgrim's Progress, made in a speech by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, at about the time this novel was first published. Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2011 by John P. Jones III
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