- Series: Bantam Classics
- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Bantam Classics; 1 edition (October 1, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553212451
- ISBN-13: 978-0553212457
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3,235 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Jungle (Bantam Classics) 1st Edition
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“When people ask me what has happened in my long lifetime I do not refer them to the newspaper files and to the authorities, but to [Sinclair’s] novels.” —George Bernard Shaw
From the Publisher
In this powerful book we enter the world of Jurgis Rudkus, a young Lithuanian immigrant who arrives in America fired with dreams of wealth, freedom, and opportunity. And we discover, with him, the astonishing truth about "packingtown," the busy, flourishing, filthy Chicago stockyards, where new world visions perish in a jungle of human suffering. Upton Sinclair, master of the "muckraking" novel, here explores the workingman's lot at the turn of the century: the backbreaking labor, the injustices of "wage-slavery," the bewildering chaos of urban life. The Jungle, a story so shocking that it launched a government investigation, recreates this startling chapter if our history in unflinching detail. Always a vigorous champion on political reform, Sinclair is also a gripping storyteller, and his 1906 novel stands as one of the most important -- and moving -- works in the literature of social change.
Top customer reviews
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This novel, written at the end of the gilded-age, shows the great divide created by unregulated capitalism, showing how workers and consumers can end up bearing the heavy burden, the real cost, of maintaining the lifestyles of the rich and powerful, how the American dream of working hard to succeed does not work when the cards are stacked against you.
Funny how some of these same problems are with us again. How easy it is to assume the free market can regulate itself, after generations of living in a regulated market. People seem to forget the first principle of business is to make a profit.
The ending was a weak point by today's standards. There was hope that socialism would address all the flaws of social inequity. Obviously, that never happened, though political changes were enacted to address some of the inequities. Socialism was a dream never realized and I'm not sure I'd want the author's final solution. It reminded me of Ayn Rand, escaping from Communism and seeing Capitalism as the ultimate system of perfection. The grass is always greener . . .
The theories of government never translate into practice with the lofty ideals or ethics of the philosophers who write about a perfect society. I doubt there is any system (including capitalism) that would be successful if not tempered to address the ways humans devise to scam the system.
What I found most interesting is the nation's current drift into a second gilded-age. It makes this a frightening powerful novel, a modern-day warning. I wish it was required reading.
You will be shocked by so many atrocities and it will be difficult not to feel empathy for the characters, who destroy themselves in the name of Capitalism. Time and again the protagonist is put through trials that would cause you or I to curl up and die! It's a very dark book with a very good message and I recommend it to all!
P.S. I haven't read the other reviews, but I'm willing to bet that many of them will warn of the slaughterhouse scenes, which made me REALLY happy to be a vegetarian!
Definitely not worth the extra price! We thought we were getting a classic reprint but we got a weird mishmash of chapters. Very odd.