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Upton SInclair bravely tells the story of the manipulation of immigrants who were shipped by train to Chicago to work in the meat processing industry there. It is not just an indictment of the meat industry at that time, as some people think, but also tells about other big businesses that were preying on these people, as well. For example, there was a bar on every corner, and the banks were making loans to the workers so that they could buy homes; the homes were often repossessed and then resold to another worker needing a home. The railroads were heavily involved, transporting not just the cattle but the people to process the cattle.
I can't think of another book that is so well-informed and really mind-and life-changing. Dickens comes to mind, but Sinclair was harsher in his judgment than even Dickens. According to Wikipedia, SInclair went undercover and worked in the factories for a while before writing this fictional account of a family enduring those times and conditions. It came out first as an article, and then he wanted to make it into a book, but he couldn't get anyone to publish it . So he published it himself, under the name "Jungle Publishing". Later Doubleday picked it up.
It should be required reading for any person wanting to be well-informed. Because what happened then is not unique, and is still happening today, in varying forms. We're still seeing many bars and liquor stores in sketchy neighborhoods, and we all know what happened with the banks and real estate, starting in 2008. So the book is still meaningful in terms of contemporary issues.
Mar 25, 2010
welcome to the jungle
this book gives a worms eye view of what survival in the late nineteenth century was like for the lowly immigrant, fresh off the boat. In a country where an uneven distribution of wealth couldnt be more apparent. Capitalist propaganda could never blurr the real truth this book uncovers.
Apr 9, 2009
Cliff Notes summary of "The Jungle"
This is my first exposure to Cliff Notes. The summary was succinct, as you would expect a summary to be, yet all of the essential elements of the book were noted.
I would definitely order Cliff Notes again.
Oct 23, 2008
This is my favorite book!!
This is my favorite book of all time. Its definately a page turner, being historical and fiction at the same time. I recommend this to everyone and recommend it any chance i get.
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