The Jungle by Upton SinclairFor nearly a century, the original version of Upton Sinclairs classic novel has remained almost entirely unknown.
When it was published in serial form in 1905, it was a full third longer than the censored, commercial edition published in book form the following year. That expurgated commercial edition edited out much of the ethnic flavor of the original, as well as some of the goriest descriptions of the meat-packing industry and much of Sinclairs most pointed social and political commentary.
The text of this new edition is as it appeared in the original uncensored edition of 1905.
It contains the full 36 chapters as originally published, rather than the 31 of the expurgated edition.
A new foreword describes the discovery in the 1980s of the original edition and its subsequent suppression, and a new introduction places the novel in historical context by explaining the pattern of censorship in the shorter commercial edition.
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Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle to expose the appalling working conditions in the meat-packing industry. His description of diseased, rotten, and contaminated meat shocked the public and led to new federal food safety laws. Before the turn of the 20th century, a major reform movement had emerged in the United States.
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Since its first publication in , Upton Sinclair 's The Jungle has stirred generations of readers to outrage. It is the story of an economic system that destroys Jurgis Rudkus and his family, treating them no better than the cattle that are slaughtered and vivisected in the book's most horrific and memorable scenes. The novel is not only taught in English classes, as a powerful example of early-twentieth century naturalism, but it is also a perennial favorite of sociology teachers, who use it to convey just how terrible conditions for workers were a hundred years ago and how dangerous the threat of food contamination really was before corporate greed was put in check by government regulation. The Jungle is a rare example of a work of fiction that is so true to its source and so powerfully written that it changed the course of government regulation: it is generally credited with getting the Pure Food and Drug Act passed. The story starts with a family of Lithuanian immigrants moving into the Packingtown district of Chicago, hoping to find a decent place to live and to find jobs to support themselves. They are foiled at these basic requirements: everything costs more than it should, especially since real estate agents and merchants take advantage of their ignorance, and work, when it is available, is brutal and degrading.
Jurgis Rudkus and Ona Lukoszaite, a young man and woman who have recently immigrated to Chicago from Lithuania, hold their wedding feast at a bar in an area of Chicago known as Packingtown. After the reception, Jurgis and Ona discover that they are more than a hundred dollars in debt to the saloonkeeper.
lonely lonely lonely in my life
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Unlike most other muckrakers, such as Ida Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens, Sinclair mainly wrote fiction. Yet he reported his books much like a journalist. Sinclair embraced socialism wholeheartedly within months of being introduced to it, and, except for a brief interlude during World War I, he would remain a committed member of the Socialist Party of America for decades thereafter. Appeal to Reason never printed the ending, however, due to tepid reader response. The book differs in many respects from the newspaper serial.