Sheila's Reviews > The Jungle

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
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Apr 30, 2012

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Read in April, 2012

This book is packed with descriptive details about the hardships of working in the meat packing industry of the early 1900's, along with the slow rise of socialism and ending with the hope for a better future. Thankfully things have changed, but I kept wondering by how much. If you read Fast Food Nation, you'll see that there is still some room for improvement. The protagonist's family suffered through a foreclosure after a bad deal on their home. That sounds pretty familiar. Considering how today we think of socialism as a dirty word, this book would probably be disregarded as a classic and not on the book list in high schools anymore. I wouldn't be surprised if it were banned in some places.

I reserve to call this a great read because the hardships got a little too extreme to the point of absurdity. But it is a propaganda piece--like a long brochure--and Sinclair employed the tactic of following one unfortunate fictitious family that met every possible scenario of exploitation. I also felt at times it was one long sentence, too many words and too dramatic, to make a point. But that could be just the style of the times. It is still a necessary piece of literature so that we'll never forget.

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message 1: by Mike (new)

Mike Isn't this one of the classics from the industrial age? Public outcry from this book resulted in the Pure Food and Drug Act; i.e. the FDA; 30 years prior to the regulation of the new deal. I never read it, but have heard about it. Banned? Is this Nazi Germany? Well, maybe............

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