Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Jungle” as Want to Read:
The Jungle
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Jungle

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  94,069 ratings  ·  4,022 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 404 pages
Published August 18th 2008 by BiblioLife (first published 1905)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Jungle, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jerrod Carter The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was the first of a series of significant consumer protection laws enacted by the Federal Government in the…moreThe Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was the first of a series of significant consumer protection laws enacted by the Federal Government in the twentieth century and led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration. The Act arose due to public education and exposés from public interest guardians such as Upton Sinclair and Samuel Hopkins Adams, social activist Florence Kelley, researcher Harvey W. Wiley, and President Theodore Roosevelt.

Source: Wikipedia (retrieved 14 Oct 2014)(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Naturally, my high school English teacher felt it necessary to assign "The Jungle" to read over Thanksgiving break. As my Dad carved the turkey, the conversation went something like this:

MOM: Could you pass the turkey?

ME: Oh, yeah, great, why don't we pass the meat that untold numbers of Slavik immigrants had to die to process? Why don't we just spit in the face of the proleteriat and laugh, knowing that he's too malnourished to fight back.

DAD: Are you okay?

ME: Oh, sure, I'm great. And you know
Whenever I've asked someone if they have read The Jungle, and if they have not read it, they always respond, "isn't that about the meat packing industry?". I think that response is exactly what the author was trying to point out is wrong with his society at the time.
It is true that the main character of the book at one point goes to work in a meat packing plant, and its disgusting, and when the book was published apparently the FDA was created as a result, or something. The problem is, though,
Jason Koivu
Reading The Jungle will have you wringing your fists Upton Sinclair style.


Right up until I read it, The Jungle was one of those books I'd always heard of, but not heard about. I knew it was important, apparently, because everyone said so, but no one said why. (I guess I should have asked.) From what I gathered, it had something to do with the meat industry and its nefarious doings in the early 20th century, which led me to expect a dry, straight-forward, tell-all non-fiction revealing corruptio
(written 6-03)

Wow. Now I can see why this book had such a big impression on those who read it in the early twentieth century. Really heart-wrenching (and gut-wrenching) stuff. There's the famous quote that Sinclair said he aimed for the public's heart and hit it in the stomach instead. I guess people didn't care much for the Socialism stuff, but when they learned what exactly their sausage was made of, they got mad.

It was surprising how much Sinclair reminds me of Ayn Rand, especially considerin
Sep 08, 2008 Jed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tough people
Recommended to Jed by: bennion (and a handful of people who were afraid to read it)
if i had the words to describe the horror of reading this book, i'd certainly find a way to put them here. this was a physically challenging read, as it took an epic energy even to continue. All the terrors you've ever heard about what you might find in its pages are absolutely true. the weight of it is oppressive. it stinks with the filth of early america, it aches with excruciating poverty and unrelenting suffering, and it drips an inhuman avarice summoned from the darkest reaches of a roiling ...more
It's been a while since I read it, but I believe this book features a precocious young boy named Mowgli Rudkus who was raised by wolves. After singing a bunch of songs with bears and orangutans in the jungles of India, Mowgli immigrates to turn-of-the-century Chicago where he lives in abject poverty until he falls into an industrial meat grinder and becomes a hamburger. He is later served to Theodore Roosevelt for Thanksgiving dinner, 1906.

This book also has the distinction of changing America'
Mar 04, 2008 AMD rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to AMD by: Mr. Buchas
I had to read this book in my high school U.S. History class. I was in an "Academic" class because due to scheduling conflicts, I could not be in either "Honors" or "AP". I hated this class. I loved the teacher, but at one point the a student stopped class to ask what the difference between the U.S.S.R. and Russia was. I spent almost every class period simultaneously wanting to kill everyone and go get coffee with the teacher, but I never spoke out loud. (Incidentally, he told me I would like co ...more
It is impossible for me to review this without appearing to be pissy. The work itself is barely literary. The Jungle explores and illustrates the conditions of the meatpacking industry. Its presence stirred outcry which led to much needed reforms. Despite the heroics of tackling the Beef Trust, Upton Sinclair saw little need in the actual artful. The protagonist exists only to conjoin the various pieces of reportage. There isn't much emotional depth afforded, the characters' motivations often ap ...more
Somehow I never read this before, but I've heard it was a classic - not just a classic, but one that drove Theodore Roosevelt into attempting to clean up the mess of the Chicago stock yards & eventually led to public exposure & the FDA.

Sinclair wasn't happy with the response & I can see why. About halfway through, I've found the ills of the meat packing industry to be very much a secondary issue for Sinclair. They're awful, but it's obvious tha
Leah W
Things not to do:
-tug on Superman's cape
-spit in the wind
-discuss The Jungle extensively in your junior year literature class directly before lunchtime on hot dog day
-mess around with Jim

I still don't eat hot dogs. And I ate hot dogs up until then, despite having uncles who worked at the hot dog factory that weren't the most finger-rich of individuals.

Re-read in 2005 for Gapers Block book club.
Kater Cheek
I have a tendency to be easily swayed by arguments, so I asked a well-read friend for an antidote to Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED. She suggested this book. If I ever get that wish where you get to resurrect people and have them at a dinner party, I'm going to have Ayn Rand and Upton Sinclair there together. That would be an awesome cage-fight between the philosophers.

This book has an actual story with actual sympathetic characters. Well, they start out being sympathetic. Jurgis and Ona are a young
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label

Essay #64: The Jungle (1906), by Upton Sinclair

The story in a nutshell:
(Much of today's plot recap was cribbed from Wikipedia, for reasons that will become clearer be
Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion
What a disservice that this book is mostly read and remembered as a mere historical reference and expose on socialism and the meat-packing industry! The final four chapters which lapse into doctrine, preaching, and recruitment don't help any in casting off the label, but otherwise the book goes well beyond the Socialist politics which motivated Sinclair to write it. The first three hundred pages focus on hardened descriptions of the physical and emotional tragedy of working class immigrants losi ...more
The Jungle wasn’t quite what I was expecting, having always thought of it as just a piece about the meat industry. In the beginning it seems to be a heart-breaking story about a poor immigrant family come to Chicago in pursuit of the ‘American dream’ who instead find themselves pawns of the corporate nightmare. Despite all their best efforts they aren’t going to beat the system, but still I found myself rooting for them and hoping against hope they would be able to make a go of things. As the si ...more
With a hundred years of hindsight, we've learned so little.

Chicken processing plant

Waste lagoon

The 1%

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is famous for disgusting America with its tales of meat packing workers falling into vats and rendered into lard, and all the things that went into sausages and tinned beef. (Cigar butts and poisoned rats not even being the most disgusting ingredients...) But as Sinclair said about his most famous book, "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." The Jungle is not primarily about
One of the great social/protest novels of the 20th Century. 'The Jungle' is at once an indictment on the treatment of immigrants, poverty, American wage slavery, and the working conditions at Chicago's stockyards and meatpacking plants -- and simultaneously an exposé on the unsanitary conditions of the meat produced in the plants and led to Federal real food reform. Did I like it? Well, it pissed me off, so I thought it was a great piece of writing. It reminded me of the time when I was 19 and l ...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
This was a graphic book and it may have been the original Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, but that just isn't what I am looking for in a book.

There’s an interesting introduction into the world of this Lithuanian community of Chicago. The main scene being the marriage of 16-year -old, blue-eyed Ona, running into tears often, …with Jurgis, a much older man.

Special attention has been given to the description of the characters dancing or just chatting over the table; but center-stage remains the trio-band (moving, sometimes, over the room!): Tamoszius, the 5-feet leader, the violin player, supported by another violin, of a Slovak man, an
"They could tell the whole hateful story of it, set forth in the inner soul of a city in which justice and honor, women's bodies and men's souls were for sale in the marketplace, and human beings writhed and fought and fell upon each other like wolves in a pit, in which lusts were raging fires, and men were fuel, and humanity was festering and stewing and wallowing in its own corruption."

The Good:

Jurgis Rudkus is a Lithuanian immigrant, newly landed in Chicago, IL with his extended family. Lik
"There was no justice, there was no right, anywhere in it--it was only force, it was tyranny, the will and the power, reckless and unrestrained! They had ground him beneath their heel, they had devoured all his substance; they had murdered his old father, they had broken and wrecked his wife, they had crushed and cowed his whole family; and now they were through with him, they had no further use for him--and because he had interfered with them, had gotten in their way, this was what they had don ...more
Is this book a polemic?




Do the contrivances needed to get the protagonist from scene to scene wear thin after a while?

And how.

Would the U.S. Socialist Party speechifying at the end been a mite more tolerable if it had come straight from Mr. Sinclair rather than a procession of dull mouthpieces?


Is Sinclair nontheless capable of some vivid and evocative passages and good old fashioned Biercian sardonism?

You wanna reconsider this review format? But yes.

Is i
Ah, The Jungle. I know that this is traditionally an item on many high school required reading lists, but I picked it up of my own volition a few years ago. Coincidentally, Hurricane Katrina had just swept through my life, indirectly causing me to become a vegetarian.

Sinclair's writing really surprised me. I expected his style to be dry and antiquated, as some classics unfortunately are. I couldn't have been more wrong! The book was fascinating and kept me interested during many hours of commuti
Dan Henk
I read many of the standard high school required reading fare, Grapes of Wrath, Cry Beloved Country, Hearts of Darkness, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, and so on. All held their own rewards and witticisms. Some were better than others, but I could see why all were required reading. I actually had never read this book in high school. I had heard about it, and always meant to, but it took me a good 20 years to get to it.
It starts out alright. You can tell it's written by a journalist, not a
Alissa Patrick
What I liked about this novel is that what I've heard about it is NOTHING like what I had just read... all I heard growing up is that its about how gross the meat industry was at the turn of the century.

It is remarkable what this novel accomplished. From Sinclair's account of the brutal and unsanitary conditions of the meat-packing industry, it lead to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act. Then later, in 1930, it became the Food and Drug Administration. There's your history lesson for the day.
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
I enjoyed this book so much. It is real, honest and sincere. This is the truth about life. Jurgis is the symbol of what most people are going through.

Jurgis paradise is full of suffering which is caused by hunger, poverty, sickness, death, injustice, unemployment and other challenges besides.

He has to fight tooth and nail to get work and earn a decent living. His quest for job seeking takes him far and wide in america.

Every job he finds has its own challenges. His lack of education also contr
This book would have been a 5 star read, but, alas, the last 10% of the book turned into a lecture about the utopian world as visualized by a Socialist.

I found the book fascinating in a macabre way as the author explores the world of the immigrant worker in America. The working conditions of our ancestors should not be viewed through the shiny lenses of the "good old days." Farmers had it tough, but the working conditions of the mines and factories was horrific. Although it is hard to believe th
Ken Moten
I read this book for school and I have to say I have mixed feelings on it. On the one hand I think this book is deservedly celebrated for the change it provoked, the problem is that was not the book's purpose.

The book is famous for its graphic portrayal of the meat packing industry in turn of the century Chicago which successfully pressured lawmakers to introduce Food Safety standards to the American market (seriously if you brought meat from a store before this book came out you were eating st
Cassandra Kay Silva
This book gives a whole new meaning to survival. Living in Laos I saw starvation and lack of every thing we consider necessary to being human in way of sanitation and medical care that I could come up with. For some reason this left me with the tainted notion that poverty equated naturally with the rural sector. This book blows that idea completely to bits. The kind of never ending cycle that the factory system sets up in this novel is insanely cruel and grotesquely upsetting. Your heart aches w ...more
Warren Watts
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

I'm really surprised that I hadn't added this one yet. I thought I had. We certainly go back a long way...

I read it summer before Junior year of high school for the much-coveted AP English/History class. I was excited; I remember staring at the cover of the boring old Bantam edition (I couldn't find it amid the list of editions, so I went with the pretty badassed, eye-catchingest one) and feeling like a big kid at last.

It wasn't necessarily the greatest aesthetic achievement in the history of
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bright Young Things: October 2014- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair 45 29 May 31, 2015 05:22PM  
AP Literature Group: What do ya think? 6 11 Jan 29, 2015 06:01AM  
AP Literature Group: Round 1 Q&A's 1 6 Jan 07, 2015 09:28AM  
American Historic...: "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair 13 18 Oct 17, 2014 05:05AM  
How the terrible situation for immigrants develops over the course of the book? 6 58 Apr 20, 2014 09:27AM  
Motivation to Read 10 68 Mar 15, 2013 08:48PM  
meat workers situation in america in late 19th century 4 52 Mar 15, 2013 07:47PM  
  • Babbitt
  • Novels, 1930-1942: Dance Night / Come Back to Sorrento / Turn, Magic Wheel / Angels on Toast / A Time to Be Born
  • My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath
  • A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister
  • How the Other Half Lives
  • Maggie: a Girl of the Streets: and Other Tales of New York
  • Just a Couple of Days
  • A Quiet Storm
  • The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
  • Fat Land
  • Sacred Time
  • The Deerslayer (The Leatherstocking Tales, #1)
  • O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy, #1)
  • Sister Carrie
  • Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos
  • The Octopus: A Story of California
  • The Fall of the Athenian Empire
  • Extravagance
Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. was an American author who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle (1906). To gather information for the novel, Sinclair spent seven weeks undercover working in the meat packing plants of Chicago. These direct experiences expos ...more
More about Upton Sinclair...

Share This Book

29 trivia questions
3 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“They use everything about the hog except the squeal.” 34 likes
“If we are the greatest nation the sun ever shone upon, it would seem to be mainly because we have been able to goad our wage-earners to this pitch of frenzy.” 21 likes
More quotes…