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The Jungle: The Uncensored Original Edition Paperback – April 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: See Sharp Press; NEW SUB edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884365302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884365300
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This See Sharp reprint presents the whole text . . . essential for all libraries, especially at this affordable price."  —Library Journal 
 


"A must read. Recommended for all public, academic and junior through senior high schools."  —Kansas Libraries

About the Author

Upton Sinclair was a journalist and the author of over two dozen books, including The Brass Check, King Coal, and Oil!. He was a prominent social and political activist who narrowly missed being elected governor of California in 1934.

Customer Reviews

Another eye-opening book that I should have read long ago but am glad I finally got around to it.
Diana
Sinclair's purpose with this book is to tout the panacea of socialism in a world that many increasingly saw as controlled by rampant big business.
Jeffrey Leach
This book shows the treatment of immigrants and their living conditions in early 20th century Chicago.
Betsi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

160 of 176 people found the following review helpful By S. Calhoun on January 2, 2004
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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192 of 221 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Phelps on August 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
I wrote the below review-article for the History News Network (26 June 2006), and I share it here so that Amazon customers will know the truth about this flawed edition of this important social novel.

"The Fictitious Suppression of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle"

Christopher Phelps, The Ohio State University

When a small, Tucson-based publisher of anarchist and atheist literature called See Sharp Press issued a new edition in 2003 of Upton Sinclair's famous novel The Jungle, it was not especially remarkable. Editions of The Jungle, from the scholarly to the mass-market, are abundant. Generations of readers have been transfixed by the misery of the novel's protagonist, the Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkus, in Chicago's gruesome meatpacking industry. No publishing house, it seems, has ever lost money on The Jungle--something that cannot be said of many other works of socialist literature.

The See Sharp edition, however, is extraordinary for its fanfare. Its subtitle proclaims it The Uncensored Original Edition. A slogan on the front cover, complete with exclamation point, denounces all competing editions as "censored commercial versions!" The back jacket touts it as "the version of The Jungle that Upton Sinclair very badly wanted to be the standard edition--not the gutted, much shorter commercial version with which we're all familiar."

Inside is a foreword by Earl Lee, a librarian at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, who writes of "efforts of censors to subvert" The Jungle's "political message" and states that Sinclair "changed The Jungle in order to get it published by a large commercial publisher.
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Published in 1906, this book is famous for exposing the unsanitary and disgusting practices of the meat processing industry in Chicago. I chose to read the original uncensored edition because I didn't want a whitewashed version. I was not disappointed. I got it all, in all its grisly details. Processed meat and sausages included diseased animal meat, rats, the filth on the floor and even the bodies of human workers who got sucked into the lard vats. Yes, these abuses were shocking and resulted in reform and new standards for the industry, but that was only one aspect of the book.

Central to the story is the plight of the workers and, indeed, that was Upton Sinclair's purpose as he went to Chicago on a stipend from a socialist newspaper to expose the exploitation of the factory workers. That is the central theme of the book and I found myself wincing throughout, not only because of the tubercular beef being sold to the public, but mostly because of the degradation of the human beings who were just cogs in the wheels of production.

The story is about a family of Lithuanian immigrants who came to America for a better life. From the very beginning, they were cheated. They were sold a substandard house and never told about the extra taxes, fees and clauses that would cause them to lose the house if they were late with their payments. They had to to walk several miles to work in the stockyards in the dead of winter with inadequate clothing. Children were forced to work too and one little boy lost some fingers from frostbite. Their wages didn't meet their needs and there were times there was no food at all. They could never afford doctors or medicine and if a member of a family was sick or injured that person lost his or her job.
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