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The Jungle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Mar 28 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (March 28 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014303958X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143039587
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.9 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

The biographical sketch at the end of Kuper's visualization of the most famous muckraking novel says that it was intended not as an expose of the meatpacking industry but as a pitch for socialism. Kuper and coadapter Russell restore Sinclair's original intent by concentrating on the odyssey, from green Lithuanian immigrant to horribly saddened but finally wiser nascent Socialist Party member, of the book's protagonist, Jurgis Rudkus. It is a story of the highest possible pathos. Jurgis is a working-class Job and worse, for he loses almost everyone he loves to the grinding jaws of industrial capitalism (the coup de grace comes when his dead wife's little brother is eaten by rats) and becomes a strikebreaker and ward heeler before he absolutely bottoms out. Grimmer than Dickens' books, Sinclair's agitprop classic seems tailor-made for Kuper's spectacular color artwork, in which Chagall's buoyant Old World fantasias meet the intense expressionism of Munch and, above all, the cubist-derived constructivism of early Soviet poster art, with a smidgen or two of 1920s German cinema in the compositions. Magnificent. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–In 1906, Sinclair published The Jungle, a realistic and scathing portrayal of the life of an immigrant worker. Kuper's revised adaptation focuses solely on its hero, Jurgis Rudkus. Readers follow him from his emigration from Lithuania to downtown Chicago, eager to find the American Dream he's heard so much about. But the harsh world of Chi-town quickly shatters his hopes; forced to take a job at a slaughterhouse, he performs the most menial and vile tasks. An injury pushes him to unemployment and, unable to provide for them, he leaves his family in shame. Rudkus transforms from a starry-eyed dreamer into a cynical but valiant man who fights for workers' rights. Kuper's artwork effectively mimics some of the major art movements of the day. The book opens in a Chagall-inflected form of cubism, lending a folksy, dreamy, and hopeful quality to the early pages. Then, the visuals become increasingly jagged and frenetic until they reach the Futurist-inspired panels that illustrate the story's climax. Well-plotted and beautifully illustrated, Kuper's adaptation breathes new life into this classic American story.–Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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
Originally published in 1906 by Upton Sinclair, THE JUNGLE sent shockwaves throughout the United States that resulted in cries for labor and agricultural reforms. It is indeed rare that a book should have such a political impact, but although Sinclair may have been surprised at the results, it is apparent while reading this novel that his words form a political agenda of its own. It should be noted that Sinclair was a devout Socialist who traveled to Chicago to document the working conditions of the world-famous stockyards. Sinclair originally published this book in serial form in the Socialist newspaper, The Appeal to Reason. But as a result of the popularity of this series Sinclair decided to try to publish in a form of a novel.
Sinclair widely utilized the metaphor of the jungle (survival of the fittest, etc.) throughout this book to reflect how the vulnerable worker is at the mercy of the powerful packers and politicians. Mother Nature is represented as a machine who destroys the weak and protects the elite powerful. To illustrate his sentiments Sinclair wrote of family of Jurgis and Ona who immigrated to Chicago from Lithuania in search of the American dream. They arrive in all innocence and believe that hard work would result in a stable income and security. But they soon realize that all the forces are against them. During the subsequent years Jurgis tries to hold on what he has but he is fighting a losing battle. It is not until he stumbles upon a political meeting that his eyes upon the evils of capitalism and the sacredness of socialism.
If one is to read THE JUNGLE, then they should do themselves a favor and seek out this version. It is the original, uncensored version that Sinclair originally intended to publish.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Upton Sinclair transports us into a realm beyond our imagination. "The Jungle", which takes place in the Chicago stockyards in the early 1900s, adequatley shows the cruel treatment of immigrants and poor working and living conditions of proletariat in that era. Descriptive passages on the preparation and lack thereof of meat in the stockyards will undoubtably make your stomach churn (I didn't even want to eat meat for days). The novel made me laugh and cry, and it is indeed a great classic to be enjoyed and reflected upon for decades to come.
The true beauty of this novel is in the subtle style in which Sinclair implanted his Socialist political views. After being gently set up throughout the text of the novel, Sinclair drives home Socialist views in the last two chapters. Later books, such as George Orwell's "1984", highlights the dangers of a Socialist government that ultimatley discredits Sinclair's opinions. Though I disagree with Socialist principles, the style in which they were presented in "The Jungle" is incomparable.
I recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a good read. This is one book that can go as deep as you want it to, whether you're reading it for pleasure or for English class. It will always be one of my personal favorites, and will hopefully become one of your's as well.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
So I had to read Sinclair's The Jungle for my history class, and through lack of a physical book I ended up reading most of it in one night and on my computer, since it's in the public domain now.
The book itself is pretty good. Rather easy to read in terms of language, and it draws you into the story of a family of Lithuanian immigrants and their struggles to survive in the early 1900's in Chicago. It tells of how the common worker is screwed at every corner, with scams of buying a house, losing his jobs at a moments notice, having to buy substandard, nutritionless food, and the dangers of working in factories with no concern for their safety or well-being. It was far too easy to get into an accident and lose a hand or get crushed it seems.
Jurgis, the main character, moves to America with the family of his love, Ona, to make their way in a new world. Having lost most of their prospects in their country, they decide to try and make it in America, a land rumored to be full of opportunity; there Ona and Jurgis could finally get married. Unfortunately, they didn't realize that most of the opportunities in America were not granted to honest workers. The book tells the entirely tragic story of the family as it is brought to its knees and torn apart, all the while exposing the treacheries of the industries in Chicago, mainly the meat packing business.
I don't want to give away too many details, so I won't go into specifics about the story of all that befalls poor Jurgis, but I do want to talk about the end a little bit. No worries, it has little to do with the story line. In the end, he discovers socialism through a town meeting, and the last portion of the book is devoted to a discussion of socialism, and how it will be America's saving grace.
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