The Jungle (Barnes & Noble Signature Editions)

( 318 )

Overview

It is the dawn of the twentieth century. Two young Lithuanian immigrants, Jurgis and Ona, hold their wedding celebration in Packingtown, the heart of Chicago’s meat packing district. According to custom, departing guests should give money to help pay for the party and start the newlyweds off in life. But many guests walk out leaving nothing. Ona worries about the couple’s debts, but Jurgis calms her, saying, “I will work harder.”

     Strong and confident, Jurgis begins a job in a meatpacking ...

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The Jungle (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

It is the dawn of the twentieth century. Two young Lithuanian immigrants, Jurgis and Ona, hold their wedding celebration in Packingtown, the heart of Chicago’s meat packing district. According to custom, departing guests should give money to help pay for the party and start the newlyweds off in life. But many guests walk out leaving nothing. Ona worries about the couple’s debts, but Jurgis calms her, saying, “I will work harder.”

     Strong and confident, Jurgis begins a job in a meatpacking plant, where he bears the twelve-hour work days, the repellent and dangerous labor conditions, and the pitifully low pay. But when his family is cheated in a housing swindle, when his father is forced to turn over one-third of his pay to the man who hired him, and when a sprained ankle costs Jurgis his job, the American Dream that inspired him veers into nightmare. And worse is yet to come.

     Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle after working undercover in Chicago’s meatpacking district for seven weeks. His aim was to draw America’s attention to the plight of exploited immigrant workers and usher in a new age of socialism. Indeed, the public was horrified, but not by workers’ suffering. Rather, Sinclair’s graphic descriptions of the industry’s filthy conditions and use of diseased animals quickly led to passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781435137707
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 7/6/2012
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Signature Editions
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 118,564
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore in 1878. He enrolled at the College of the City of New York before his fourteenth birthday and began supporting himself through his writing only a few years later. A lifelong socialist, Sinclair ran for governor of California in 1934. His novel Dragon’s Teeth won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1943. He died in Bound Brook, New Jersey, in 1968.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 318 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(133)

4 Star

(101)

3 Star

(50)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 320 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2010

    My favorite book of all time

    I read this book back when I was in middle school and to this day (starting graduate school soon) it still remains my favorite book of all time. Even though I am a Laissez-faire Capitalist and am not too fond of the last chapter, I am a vegetarian and someone who is going into public service. I still find it interesting that Sinclair's book had to be toned down because if he had described the situation even more accurately, readers wouldn't have been able to keep down their lunches. I love how he tells the story of this immigrant family. The first chapter is a little slow, but it really helps the reader to understand how difficult it can be to blend two cultures.. and it is also symbolic because the tail end of the wedding celebration foreshadows the family's hardships that are later to come. If you have never read this book.. please do so ASAP.

    17 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2003

    An Account of a Lithuanian Immigrant's life

    I am 16 years old and reading this for my book report. Upton Sinclair really packs a punch with his powerful writing that describes the lives of immigrants from Lithuania. Even though this is a fictional story, we learn that America isn't the go-lucky country of freedom for all. Most of these immigrants came here in search of better wages and release from their former autocratic regimes, but soon learned the harsh reality which surrounded their hope of freedom. These Lithuanian immigrants suffer from unsanitary housing, and meager wages in an horrible working environment. This extremely detailed book is a MUST read for our 'spoiled' teenagers, (eh hehm... students from beverly hills high school...) who haven't learned the true value of a dollar.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2008

    Incredible.

    Even though I'm only fourteen, this book has impacted me so much. I find this book to be amazing. I think that Sinclair is an excellent writer, with much to tell about his experiences. He portrayed Jurgis and his family of clueless, poor immigrants with spot on writing. I highly reccomend this book. Not only does it reveal the appalling labor & food conditions, it reveals the condition of regular 'city life' in Packingtown. It also reveals the kind of life that immigrants had to endure coming into a seemingly perfect life. The writing itself was so intricate, that you can't help but keep reading on. So, obviously, read this! At first, it was super confusing. After getting further into it, I wouldn't dare put it down, to let the story of Jurgis unfold. Thank you, Upton Sinclair, and Barnes & Noble!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2008

    A Fine Journalist

    Thank you Upton Sinclair! Sinclair took his bold views and went against the corporate machine, exposing the ill treatment of workers during his time. Not only that, but the hazardous working conditions and the gross sanitation practices. Don't read this right after eating. Thanks to Mr. Sinclair, the Food Industry was forced to change for the health and safety of not only the workers, but for the consumers as well.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

       SPOILER WARNING: The book chronicles the story of a young man

       SPOILER WARNING: The book chronicles the story of a young man named Jurgis Rudkus, a polish immigrant who is trying to make a living at a meat packing industry in order to provide for his family. The novel itself is beautiful and horrifying, giving scrutinizing detail about the horrors of the early 1900’s and its gruesome labor laws. The family is constantly struggling to get by with each member slowly needing to get jobs in order to support their cost of living. Rudkus loves his family, but after 12 hour shifts at the factory he begins to spend his hard earned cash at the bar in order to take the sting of daily monotonous routines. The tale becomes more and more gruesome and eventually Rudkus runs away to the countryside to start his own life, only to return and find his sister has become a prostitute. This rage and anger eventually and almost ironically turns him into a supporter of communism, who fight for workers’ rights. 
    I love the story not only because of how apparently awful labor laws were back then, but also because it was a book that inspired change, but not the way it was intended. While Upton Sinclair wrote the book for a change in how labor laws were looked at, the real issue that people were concerned with was the meat packing industry. Rudkus recalls in his work experience that meat would just fall into the sawdust and no one washed their hands when handling different types of meat. Rudkus even recalls of how rats would run across the fallen meat and this was just common circumstance. The book inspired such outrage and disbelief that Roosevelt looked into and realized the horror, and so the FDA was born because of one book. The sheer weight of a book carrying such influence that it changes the entire functioning of an industry and becomes much grander than itself I find truly inspirational. This is why I feel enlightenment is so important, a whole nation of people were ignorant to the things they would put into their stomachs until a simple book came along and revealed the horror. Sure, people may not want to hear an ugly truth, but when diseased meat is shipped out daily it can be assumed that perhaps enlightenment should prevail over ignorance.    

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    ....

    Seriously dude!! How do you expect Glimmer to like you when all you do is go on and on about how much you hate her? Great tactics man!! Seriously! That is not the way to win someone's heart, and going on about how much you love them isn't going to help either.

    1 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2012

    Had To Read For School, And Felt That It Was Alright

    The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, is the story of Jurgis Rudkus, and his life after moving to America from Lithuania. His life, in all honesty, is quite awful. Everything that happens to him is full of tradgedy and horror. With a really slow beginnning, and an interesting middle, I was ready to give this book three stars. Then came the random ending, all about Socialism. Like, it just came out of no where. It was entirely random, and it had nothing to do with the rest of the book. So that is why it is a two. That and a lot of this book was very hard to understand. However, this wasn't the worst book that I've had to read for school. It is interesting, but not nessicarily... good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    Compelling.

    This is the most depressing book in my opinion. Its just one sad terrible thing to the next sad terrible thing. Its so depressing and gross, its tough to finish it. Still it is a must read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book is awesome!

    This book is great! Sinclair did an amazing job with this. The way he writes this book makes you feel as if you were in the stockyards. I am glad i read this book and have it a part of my library.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2014

    About as depressing a story as you can get

    And here is where cliff notes would really help if required class reading. When my grandson went to a pioneer village and saw them processing a pig he refused to eat meat for months. Now family is split into lacto veggies veggies fish veggies chicken/fish no pork and one no gluten. holiday dinners have become pot luck but my goodness what you can do with tofu chicago no longer has a stock yard and processing is else where and industry still has same problems pagecounter

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Don't read unless you are a masochist and want to cry all the ti

    Don't read unless you are a masochist and want to cry all the time. Just don't. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Twilight

    Shrugs. I like being dramatic :3

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Coal

    Ok. Comeback soon.

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2012

    I had always heard about the impact this book had on the food in

    I had always heard about the impact this book had on the food industry and how the public viewed working conditions, but it took reading it to really understand why. Not only does it chronicle the disgusting conditions in Chicago, but it also tells a fascinating political story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    pass it up

    I've heard about this book for years and thought it would be a good summer read. I found it interesting and heart wrenching. It was obviously quite an eye opener at one time and sad to realize America (in part) treated its immigrants this way.
    I was extremely disappointed in the ending. I would not read it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    GREAT BOOK!!!! One of the best books ever written!!!!

    GREAT BOOK!!!!
    One of the best books ever written!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Just what I wanted!

    I needed a copy of The Jungle to use in my classroom - this was perfect and simple! No need to take a trip to the bookstore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    The jungle

    Wow food sanitary conditions got me but the biggest thing that is burning in my brain was the working condition these characters n real people went threw. Just made me rethink where my food is really comming from lets guess abused drugged animals caged a person named hector whom is over worked extreme low paid and in very unsanitary conditions n not just meat how many times have produce been recalled things havent change i think i was taught to look away insted of whats the real picture

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  • Posted March 17, 2012

    Great Book!!!!!

    This is a really eye opening book. Unbelievable that people really had to live this way.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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