The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

 
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This is an electronic edition of the complete book complemented by author biography. This book features the table of contents linked to every chapter. The book was designed for optimal navigation on the Kindle, PDA, Smartphone, and other electronic readers. It is formatted to display on all electronic devices including the Kindle, Smartphones and other Mobile Devices with a small display.

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The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by author and socialist journalist Upton Sinclair. It was written about the corruption of the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century. The novel depicts in harsh tones the poverty, absence of social programs, unpleasant living and working conditions, and hopelessness prevalent among the "have-nots", which is contrasted with the deeply rooted corruption on the part of the "haves". The sad state of turn-of-the-century labor is placed front and center for the American public to see, suggesting that something needed to be changed to get rid of American "wage slavery". The novel is also an important example of the "muckraking" tradition begun by journalists such as Jacob Riis. Sinclair wanted to persuade his readers that the mainstream American political parties offered little means for progressive change.

- Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Customer Reviews:

  • The Jungle
    The Jungle is a dreary novel about the failed American dream. It shows readers the shadowy side of early 20th century Chicago and the hardships that immigrants had to go through. Jurgis, a Lithuanian immigrant, illuminates the horrible working conditions and shady business tactics that occurred in America during this time period. He vowed that he would just work harder to make more money, yet the only jobs available to him were those that involved back breaking labor in an unsafe work environment. In an effort to alleviate the situation that his family is in, Jurgis joins a union. The reader begins to see just how corrupt Chicago is at this time. Immigrants were used for their cheap labor while the politicians skimmed off the top. Jurgis sprained his ankle while he was working and the meatpacking factory would not pay him until he came back 3 months later. This kind of unfair business practice ran rampant in America during this time. After a series of deaths in his family and stays in jail, Jurgis becomes one of many criminals looking to make a dishonest dollar. He finally must turn to socialism in order to show his discontent for the happenings in America. I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the corruption of early 1900s America. Upton Sinclair shows how hard it actually was for immigrants to make a living and exposes the the unsafe working conditions in which they had to live and work in. ...more info
  • A beautiful literary classic
    Using the word "beautiful" to describe Sinclair's "The Jungle" is a bit tedious, and something of an oxymoron. I mean, let's face it: it's a down-and-dirty book, a brutally honest portrayal of Chicago's turn-of-the-century Packingtown. The novel traces Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkus and his family, as they seek a new life in America--and fall into a trap of immorality and despair. It is not an easy read, in the sense that the imagery Sinclair uses is not watered down; you are made to wince, you are made sick to your stomach. I cannot imagine what this was like for readers at the time it was published, before the Pure Food and Drug Act (the passing of which was a direct result of this novel). Most of "The Jungle" flows along smoothly; it works very well as a novel, even one with a Socialist agenda (the last thirty pages read like a Socialist pamphlet; but then again, that was Sinclair's point, so we can forgive him for that).

    Now for the "bonus features" (obviously, I am of the DVD generation). The "Introduction," which offers a brief bio of Sinclair, as well as a brief analysis of the "protest novel"'s role in literature, is a worthy read. The "Interpretive Notes" are a joke, I'm afraid. The Notes are somtimes helpful (if it weren't for one note, we wouldn't know Sinclair was referencing his friend and fellow Socialist, Jack London), but more often simply get in the way (did we really need a refence stating that the "lake" referred to is Lake Michigan? I mean, it's Chicago, for God's sake!). Kudos to the "Suggestions for the Interested Reader" and "Critical Excerpts" sections, for including listings that actually go against Sinclair's views. Combine that with the "Questions for Discussion," and I'd say that this book would be handy in the classroom. I read it outside of class, for the exerpience (and a pleasant one at that), but I can easily see this edition being used in one of my college literature courses (I'd suggest high school, but let's face it, no high school student would be all that interested). So for you Teachers of the World, I highly suggest using this edition of the text. For those of you who simply want to experience Sinclair's classic novel--by all means, dig in. You'll be a bit squeamish in spots, and you might get tired of having Socialist ideals pounded into your skull, but you'll enjoy the experience, and will hopefully come out a richer person because of it. At the very least, you'll thank God somebody had the balls to take on the Beef Trust, and make dinner time a safer place for the rest of us....more info
  • The Jungle
    The Jungle is a dreary novel about the failed American dream. It shows readers the shadowy side of early 20th century Chicago and the hardships that immigrants had to go through. Jurgis, a Lithuanian immigrant, illuminates the horrible working conditions and shady business tactics that occurred in America during this time period. He vowed that he would just work harder to make more money, yet the only jobs available to him were those that involved back breaking labor in an unsafe work environment. In an effort to alleviate the situation that his family is in, Jurgis joins a union. The reader begins to see just how corrupt Chicago is at this time. Immigrants were used for their cheap labor while the politicians skimmed off the top. Jurgis sprained his ankle while he was working and the meatpacking factory would not pay him until he came back 3 months later. This kind of unfair business practice ran rampant in America during this time. After a series of deaths in his family and stays in jail, Jurgis becomes one of many criminals looking to make a dishonest dollar. He finally must turn to socialism in order to show his discontent for the happenings in America. I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the corruption of early 1900s America. Upton Sinclair shows how hard it actually was for immigrants to make a living and exposes the the unsafe working conditions in which they had to live and work in. ...more info
  • "The Jungle" Review:
    "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair clearly states how people wanted to live the American Dream; which was unfortunately extremely hard in those types of conditions. The setting of the story takes place at first in Lithuania and then the family then moves to Packington, a meat-packing sector of Chicago in the early 1900s, in hope of living better lives and being successful. The conflict that occurs during their stay in Chicago are that Jurgis and his family attempt to pursue the "American Dream", but certain situations come up and interfere their successfulness. The main events that happen are that Ona's boss rapes her, Jurgis has to spend Christmas in jail away from his family, and Ona's death during childbirth. As a result of this, Jurgis feels destroyed by capitalism and Jurgis turns to abandon his family and turns to dishonest means to survive. The resolution to all this is that everyone goes their own separate ways and try to survive their own way and the hard way. They learn how hard it is to live and survive by themselves in those conditions.
    ...more info
  • "The Jungle" Review:
    "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair clearly states how people wanted to live the American Dream; which was unfortunately extremely hard in those types of conditions. The setting of the story takes place at first in Lithuania and then the family then moves to Packington, a meat-packing sector of Chicago in the early 1900s, in hope of living better lives and being successful. The conflict that occurs during their stay in Chicago are that Jurgis and his family attempt to pursue the "American Dream", but certain situations come up and interfere their successfulness. The main events that happen are that Ona's boss rapes her, Jurgis has to spend Christmas in jail away from his family, and Ona's death during childbirth. As a result of this, Jurgis feels destroyed by capitalism and Jurgis turns to abandon his family and turns to dishonest means to survive. The resolution to all this is that everyone goes their own separate ways and try to survive their own way and the hard way. They learn how hard it is to live and survive by themselves in those conditions.
    ...more info
  • Immigrants Revealed
    This book is about an immigrant family from Lithuania. They are expecting to come to an industrialized and modern country with money, if they work hard. They end up in Chicago working in the meat-packing industry. All sorts of tragedies unfold.
    This is an amazing book which inspired even President Theodore Roosevelt. I would wait to read it until high school though, since I'm in junior high and it's a little difficult for me....more info
  • They would have been better off in a Jungle
    Back in high school I read this book and absolutely hated every page of it. The other day I decided that it was time for a re-read so I pulled it back out and started reading.

    Short Summary: Jurgis and his extended family migrate to America from Lithuania in search of the American Dream. When they arrive they discover that the American dream may not be available to them, what is available to them is scam after scam, starvation, freezing winters, and slave labor for pitiful wages.

    The first chapter of the book is generally enough to make all but the most dedicated readers consider turning back. It is an extended wedding scene with little to know explanation as to who these people are that we are reading about. Though we do meet up with many of the characters later in the book, it's really not the most desirable place for us to leap into the story. The wedding between Jurgis and Ona is a happy affair that nearly breaks their pitiful bank. After this chapter we leap back to the family coming over to America, fumbling about to find a place to stay, trying to learn enough English to get by, and attempting to find jobs.

    The family does not have an easy time of it... there are thousands of people in the Chicago area starving for lack of work, the slaughterhouses have their pick of employees, can pay them almost nothing, and can turn them out to the streets with no notice. Women and children are forced to work as well, trying desperately to make ends meet, keep food on the table, and keep coal in the stove for heat.

    The bulk of this novel focuses on the horrors of life in that time, particularly the atrocities committed by the slaughterhouses and the meat packing industry. I assure you that after reading this book you will think before you take your next bite of beef or pork (especially sausage). The horrors that this novel brings to light are almost unbelievable in this day and age, but they were true. One cannot even imagine going through the days and nights as this family does. Every time they begin to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is extinguished again. This book follows the tragic breaking down of the human spirit, the death of the soul, and the degradation of humanity on such a scale as to be almost unbelievable. Sinclair takes us to the brink of despair, we want this family to make it, we want their spirits to soar! We want to see hope glimmering in their eyes and food in their bellies. Such vivid characters and such terrible scenes will stick with the reader long after the book has been closed.

    But that is just the first 3/4 of the book... of all of the classics that I have read, both modern and ancient... so far this one has the least satisfying ending. In the last 5 or so chapters of the book, Jurgis is swept up by the socialist movement, and from that point on the reader simply reads speech after speech of socialist propaganda so thick that Sinclair almost leaps out of the book and bashes you over the skull with it. Page after page of brand new, came out of nowhere characters - people we know nothing about theorizing and pontificating over the joys and hopes that the socialist movement is bringing to the people. Page after page of how material wealth should be government run and intellectual wealth should be free, and how the whole concept of Socialism will solve everyone's problems and we can all live happily ever after should we vote socialist.

    Now I have nothing against socialism, heck the good old US of A is a socialist country, even though they'll fight you rather than admit it. But I don't like anyone's theories jammed down my throat... especially after they have just drug me through the gutter and have me all emotional about the horrible lives the poor characters are living. I almost took offense to the ending - Jurgis and his family deserved a better ending to their story than that!

    I am giving this book 3 stars, the first 3/4 of it is 5 star material, the last couple of chapters was 1-2 star material the appeared out of nowhere, so I'm splitting the difference. I remember now that my hatred of this book back in high school was for the same reason, and I recall arguing with my teacher that this book could have been great if he had let me rip the last 3 chapters off of it... or if Sinclair had woven his socialist theory throughout the book rather than slapping it on at the end. Still I highly recommend reading this book, even if you don't bother reading all of the speeches at the end....more info
  • Never got the book! How can I review it?
    I guess my review would provide better information if I had actually gotten the stupid thing! Please contact me ASAP because I have been waiting, obviously quite some time!...more info
  • The Jungle
    This edition of Upton Sinclair's controversial novel is excellent. The explanitory notes that have been added give depth to the story and a better understanding for the reader. Buy this book!...more info
  • They would have been better off in a Jungle
    Back in high school I read this book and absolutely hated every page of it. The other day I decided that it was time for a re-read so I pulled it back out and started reading.

    Short Summary: Jurgis and his extended family migrate to America from Lithuania in search of the American Dream. When they arrive they discover that the American dream may not be available to them, what is available to them is scam after scam, starvation, freezing winters, and slave labor for pitiful wages.

    The first chapter of the book is generally enough to make all but the most dedicated readers consider turning back. It is an extended wedding scene with little to know explanation as to who these people are that we are reading about. Though we do meet up with many of the characters later in the book, it's really not the most desirable place for us to leap into the story. The wedding between Jurgis and Ona is a happy affair that nearly breaks their pitiful bank. After this chapter we leap back to the family coming over to America, fumbling about to find a place to stay, trying to learn enough English to get by, and attempting to find jobs.

    The family does not have an easy time of it... there are thousands of people in the Chicago area starving for lack of work, the slaughterhouses have their pick of employees, can pay them almost nothing, and can turn them out to the streets with no notice. Women and children are forced to work as well, trying desperately to make ends meet, keep food on the table, and keep coal in the stove for heat.

    The bulk of this novel focuses on the horrors of life in that time, particularly the atrocities committed by the slaughterhouses and the meat packing industry. I assure you that after reading this book you will think before you take your next bite of beef or pork (especially sausage). The horrors that this novel brings to light are almost unbelievable in this day and age, but they were true. One cannot even imagine going through the days and nights as this family does. Every time they begin to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is extinguished again. This book follows the tragic breaking down of the human spirit, the death of the soul, and the degradation of humanity on such a scale as to be almost unbelievable. Sinclair takes us to the brink of despair, we want this family to make it, we want their spirits to soar! We want to see hope glimmering in their eyes and food in their bellies. Such vivid characters and such terrible scenes will stick with the reader long after the book has been closed.

    But that is just the first 3/4 of the book... of all of the classics that I have read, both modern and ancient... so far this one has the least satisfying ending. In the last 5 or so chapters of the book, Jurgis is swept up by the socialist movement, and from that point on the reader simply reads speech after speech of socialist propaganda so thick that Sinclair almost leaps out of the book and bashes you over the skull with it. Page after page of brand new, came out of nowhere characters - people we know nothing about theorizing and pontificating over the joys and hopes that the socialist movement is bringing to the people. Page after page of how material wealth should be government run and intellectual wealth should be free, and how the whole concept of Socialism will solve everyone's problems and we can all live happily ever after should we vote socialist.

    Now I have nothing against socialism, heck the good old US of A is a socialist country, even though they'll fight you rather than admit it. But I don't like anyone's theories jammed down my throat... especially after they have just drug me through the gutter and have me all emotional about the horrible lives the poor characters are living. I almost took offense to the ending - Jurgis and his family deserved a better ending to their story than that!

    I am giving this book 3 stars, the first 3/4 of it is 5 star material, the last couple of chapters was 1-2 star material the appeared out of nowhere, so I'm splitting the difference. I remember now that my hatred of this book back in high school was for the same reason, and I recall arguing with my teacher that this book could have been great if he had let me rip the last 3 chapters off of it... or if Sinclair had woven his socialist theory throughout the book rather than slapping it on at the end. Still I highly recommend reading this book, even if you don't bother reading all of the speeches at the end....more info
  • Old classic in a safe form
    Of the numerous editions of The Jungle that are in print, this version is reasonably good and presented in a scholarly form. However, this version of The Jungle is not the original form. It has been drastically cut in length, with much of the slaughterhouse gore removed and the ethnic material cut way back. Readers would be better to get the "Uncensored" verion of the novel put out by See Sharp Press....more info
  • Never got the book! How can I review it?
    I guess my review would provide better information if I had actually gotten the stupid thing! Please contact me ASAP because I have been waiting, obviously quite some time!...more info
  • A supreme achievement
    Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" is one of the handful of books throughout all of history, perhaps, that have encapsulated the crying voices of the oppressed. While many readers and politicians at the time of its publication (and since) have focused on the intolerable conditions in which American food products were produced, the major thrust in "The Jungle" is not in regards to the ill-treatment of our food; it is in regards to the ill-treatment of our workers.

    The repeated sufferings of Jurgis and his family are akin to an overwhelming symphony of sorrowful songs. As his family is driven deeper into debt, his body worn down, and his life's zeal and love slowly strangled, Jurgis' desperation becomes palpable, and if you can't sympathize with his feelings at the loss of his family's home--a structure they worked so hard for--check your pulse. You might be dead.

    The book contains some of the most horrific depictions in all of literature, including a mercifully oblique reference to a child's death by being eaten alive by rats. Although the novel focuses on Jurgis primarily, it is the children--the laboring little people--who elicit the most sympathy in this reader's view. Struggling to support their family, escaping extremely dangerous situations (one little girl is nearly dragged into an alley and raped), sleeping on the street, and begging desperately for food--the appalling conditions being visited upon children as described in "The Jungle" still have the power to arouse strong anger and outrage, over a century after its initial publication.

    One of the greatest social novels ever written, "The Jungle" is a moving tribute to the millions of immigrants who did come here legally, who did find jobs, who were ready to work for their slice of the American Dream, and who survived (barely) despite being swindled, stolen from, lied to, oppressed, turned out, ignored, and abused, almost from the very first step they took into the United States. The recent punditry over immigration that has dominated the national debate should serve as a reminder of the timelessness exhibited in Upton Sinclair's seminal masterpiece....more info
  • An awkwardly muckraking polemic
    A century before Barbara Ehrenreich or Alex Frankel, wage slavery was tackled much more radically (if no less awkwardly) by muckraking socialist Upton Sinclair whose polemical story of a Lithuanian immigrant family toiling in Chicago's slaughterhouses led to reforms in food sanitation rather than the revolution Sinclair spent his political career trying to foment....more info
  • The Jungle
    Perhaps one of the most significant and influential American novels written, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair reveals the flipside to the American Dream. Jurgis Rudkus, the main character, is a Lithuanian immigrant who is at first gleeful and awed by his new homeland, America. Jurgis and his family travel to Chicago and settle in Chicago's Packingtown, one of the largest meat packing cities in the United States. As Jurgis and most of his family are employed in their inhospitable jobs, their ignorance about the American Dream is agonizingly chipped away as they experience first hand the abuses of a capitalistic, greedy, and monopolistic society. And, as they pack the rotting and rat infested meat, they revealed what Americans were really eating. Through their harrowing experiences, Capitalism is portrayed as man's enemy that viciously exploits and manipulates its workers for a profit. Jurgis eventually understands after losing his job, losing his family, being arrested, and becoming a criminal and political crook that Capitalism must be eliminated and that Socialism must be established for the betterment of man. The Jungle continues to embody the spirit of reform because issues such as forced prostitution, child labor, false advertising, unhealthful living conditions, and unsanitary food preparation continue to riddle societies throughout the world. After Sinclair admitted, "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach," Americans went on a crusade to reform society and rid it of its ills. Whether one is eating a hamburger, or buying a product from a store, they can thank Sinclair that they are not eating freshly ground rats with synthetic ketchup. ...more info

 

 
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