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.
I work at a meat processing plant in the QA department and this book really changed the way I viewed history. I had no thoughts to where USDA began or labor unions, no idea what life was like for my great great grandparents. This is a must read for anyone. The gruesome life these people lived is heartbreaking and stirred up a lot of emotions within me. I have a much deeper gratitude for the society we live in now. Our generation is spoiled compared to 4 generations before us. This book was captivating and had me hooked from the first page. It is very well written. Perhaps a little difficult to read if someone has never heard some of the words used, but the emotion of it is very easy to follow. Enjoy!
I was dissappointed. I thought I was reading a really well written story about the struggles of immigrants in this country at the turn of the 20th century. With vivid characters I really cared about. But then, in the last 50-75 pages it transforms from novel to socialist recruiting propaganda. Too bad. Didn't one of the "S's" in U.S.S.R stand for "socialist"?
We read this book for school and it sucked.
Truly A Classic
I am amazed that during my five years of undergraduate studies, I was never required to read Upton Sinclair's classic novel, "The Jungle". Well, now that I have read it, I can certainly understand why it has been labeled a classic. The primary character, Jurgis Rudkus, is a Lithuanian immigrant who has come to Chicago with his father and another Lithuanian family, all of whom hoping to find America to be the land of great dreams and opportunities. I was able to identify with this scenario because my maternal grandfather's family emigrated from Lithuania to Chicago, where my grandfather and my mother were born.
Sinclair paints a very stark and depressing picture of the area of Chicago called Packingtown (because of the concentration of meat packing businesses in the district). He also tells the reader how local businesses swindled immigrants such as Jurgis and his family.
'The Jungle' is very much a tale of survival as Jurgis and his family attempt to stay alive through long periods of unemployment, near starvation and horrific weather. Toward the end of the novel, the author gets into a detailed discussion of the benefits of Socialism as Jurgis stumbles upon a party meeting by coincidence. I found this section to be rather dry and uninspiring for the most part. I was pleasantly surprised when Sinclair described the dramatic increase in votes the Socialist candidates received in 1904, compared with the previous election.
This is definitely a novel I recommend to the serious reader, especially those with an interest in American history and sociology.
A pleasant surprise
By Rava Catin
Don't let your high school American history class make you walk in to this book knowing what it's about. This book is a storm and an amazing read. I would most recommend it to Bernie supporters or anyone who warms to se exactly how little Chaz changed in 110 years.
Review of Upton Sinclair's, "The Jungle"
By Daniel Detroit
A foundational book in understanding the modern world in the areas of: government in general, immigration, mass production, health, poverty, nutrition, the disparity of wealth, Chicago politics, elections, empathy and compassion. A book to be contrasted and good for collecting facts. A book good for mining the truth. A classic 5 star.
This book is a part of history...and not what I expected!
I downloaded this book having learned about it in history class, but in relation to food safety and regulation. This book is an interesting piece of socialist literature that uses the unfortunate story of an immigrant family to make a case for workers rights
It Relates To Everything
By Lun the Dragoon
This book is indeed needed if you intend to take the SAT or ACT. This book is frothing with examples to near every moral question ever conceived, and is fully relevant to near all politics today. The only shortcoming of this masterpiece is it includes slight sexism throughout and, despite being part of the time, there is still no real excuse for it. But this book is still one of my favorites ever written and I believe it is well worth your time (which is now all it costs).