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The Jungle: The Exposure of Health Violations and Unsanitary Practices in the American Meatpacking Industry During the Early 20th (Paperback)
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The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878-1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the harsh conditions and exploited lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. However, most readers were more concerned with his exposure of health violations and unsanitary practices in the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century, based on an investigation he did for a socialist newspaper. The book depicts working class poverty, the lack of social supports, harsh and unpleasant living and working conditions, and a hopelessness among many workers. These elements are contrasted with the deeply rooted corruption of people in power. A review by the writer Jack London called it, "the Uncle Tom's Cabin of wage slavery." Sinclair was considered a muckraker, or journalist who exposed corruption in government and business. He first published the novel in serial form in 1905, in the Socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, between February 25, 1905 and November 4, 1905. In 1904, Sinclair had spent seven weeks gathering information while working incognito in the meatpacking plants of the Chicago stockyards for the newspaper. It was published as a book on February 26, 1906, by Doubleday and in a subscribers' edition. A film version of the novel was made in 1914, but it has since become lost.
About the Author
Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. (September 20, 1878 - November 25, 1968) was an American author who wrote nearly 100 books and other works across a number of genres. Sinclair's work was well-known and popular in the first half of the twentieth century, and he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943. In 1906, Sinclair acquired particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle, which exposed conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. In 1919, he published The Brass Check, a muckraking expose of American journalism that publicized the issue of yellow journalism and the limitations of the "free press" in the United States. Four years after publication of The Brass Check, the first code of ethics for journalists was created. Time magazine called him "a man with every gift except humor and silence." He is remembered for writing the famous line: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Sinclair was an outspoken socialist and ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a nominee from the Socialist Party. He was also the Democratic Party candidate for Governor of California during the Great Depression, but was defeated in the 1934 elections."