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The Jungle (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486419231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486419237
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,289,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Earl Lee on Oct. 1 2006
Format: Paperback
In 1904 the editors of The Appeal to Reason, a Socialist newspaper, gave Upton Sinclair $[...] and sent him to Chicago to write about the meatpacking industry. Sinclair's book, The Jungle, was subsequently published in 1905 in The Appeal and in another socialist magazine, One Hoss Philosophy, both published by J. A. Wayland.

Sinclair also got a contract with Macmillan to publish The Jungle in book form. However, the editors at Macmillan, apparently horrified at the radical nature of some of Sinclair's material, gave Sinclair a list of changes that they wanted him to make in the novel. After Sinclair made the changes, the editors at Macmillian went ahead and cancelled their contract with Sinclair anyway. The circumstances are suspicious, and it seems likely that Macmillan was pressured to drop the novel by the meatpackers.

After Macmillan cancelled its contract, Sinclair approached several other publishers. None of them were interested. Sinclair then decided to ask the readers of The Appeal to send him money for a "Subscribers edition," which he would publish himself, and which (because of the language of the subscription offering and where it appeared) would likely have been the original, uncut version of the novel. (Many 19th-century books were published by subscription, including some of Mark Twain's novels.) It seems likely that this "Subscribers edition" never got beyond the planning stage, because Sinclair didn't raise enough money to publish the book without taking a loss.

Finally, Sinclair obtained a publishing contract from another commercial publisher, Doubleday, Page. According to publisher Frank Doubleday's memoir, published in 1972 after his death, agents for the meatpacking industry threatened to sue Doubleday, Page for $[...
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Format: Paperback
I am quite amused when I read the personal reviews of this book by people who struggle with whether or not Upton Sinclair was truthful or not about the conditions in the Chicago stockyards when he wrote this classical text. Of course he wasn't! This was not meant to be a non-fictional piece nor was it even meant to be a novel of historical fiction. It was meant to be a highly exaggerated, yet concise, piece of allegorical symbolism. By unrealistically expanding on the distraught conditions of not only the stockyards themselves but, more importantly, upon the plight of an immigrant family's interaction with this overwhelming mirage, Sinclair universalizes this tale into one which symbolizes uncontrolled capitalism and the blight which it brings on us all. Yes, 'The Jungle' does produce images of horror and corruption that are nearly unthinkable, but that is the point! Unfettered Capitalism can, and does, produce unbelievable hardship and personal pain on all of its victims and pain that is felt to the same degree that our fictionalized characters experience it! And in spite of what the followers of Ayn Rand, neo-Conservatism and Libertarianism may say, it does so while waving the national flag and calling itself 'freedom'. Sinclair strongly promotes the fact that a civilization is made up of varying peoples and that everyone must be responsible to one another's welfare. From this viewpoint, there cannot be any type of favoritism based on power, wealth, national origin or gender preference as graphically shown in this tale.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Having read this as a high school freshman, I decided to take a new look at "The Jungle". "The Jungle", a model of the propongandistic novel, is the tale of Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant to the Packing house district of Chicago. Written in 1905, it tells the story of Jurgis' working class family which had come to America in search of a better life.
Arriving full of hope, Jurgis sought advancement through a home with the family, the Lithuanian Community, the Church, the industrial machine and politics. Time after time, the naive workman was taken by those whom Upton Sinclair regarded as the oppressors of the people. Every time Jurgis thought that he was a cog in the machine, he ended up being discarded when he was no longer useful to those in whom Jurgis had placed his trust.
Upton Sinclair was disappointed with the results of his book. Intended to win converts to socialism, it was his description of conditions in the packing houses which aided in the enactment of the Pure Food and Drug Act.
"The Jungle" can be appreciated on a number of levels. The action is well paced and holds the reader's interest. As a work of propaganda, it is a model specimen. As an historical insight, it lets the reader into the mind of an early Twentieth Century Socialist reformer. As a report of the life of the early industrial worker, it is entertaining, even if its details are exaggerated for effect. As a political statement, "The Jungle" is in the eyes of the reader. For the true believer, it conveys the truth. For the modern conservative, it is an antiquated and flawed view of the world, which, as time has shown, proposed a remedy which was never right. Which ever camp you fall into, or somewhere in between, "The Jungle" is worth a first, or a second, reading.
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