Book Reviews of The Jungle

The Jungle
The Jungle
Author: Upton Sinclair
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ISBN-13: 9780140390315
ISBN-10: 0140390316
Publication Date: 4/2/1985
Pages: 448
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 34 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

53 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Jungle on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I read this book after reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. I had always thought this book was mainly about the meatpacking plants and how disgusting they were AND, while this was a part of the book and the plants are definitely disgusting, this book is much more than that. It follows an immigrant family from Lithuania as they try to make their way in America. Sinclaire really reels you in with his narrative and you can't help but feel for this family that quickly finds out that the American dream is not quite what they imagined.
reviewed The Jungle on + 67 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
If you ever think your life is this book. It is a new insight on Chicago's history and the need for the development of the FDA. Fascinating read.
reviewed The Jungle on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Starts slow, but after awhile the grisly descriptions of the food industry in old America becomes powerful and gripping.
reviewed The Jungle on + 331 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The stockyards are long gone but the unsavory dark side of Chicago lives on. Chicago machine politicians recently elected to high offices in Washington confirm that beneath the glitz Chicago's the same town it was when Sinclair analyzed it.
reviewed The Jungle on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
If I had been alive and able to read during (many could not then as now I suppose)this time I think I would have stopped eating meat. Thank goodness for the FDA now to regulate how our meat is processed! It breaks my heart reading how people lived during this time and how immigrants were treated, I just can't imagine the struggles nd sacrafices they had to make. Overall its a great book and I am glad I read it.
reviewed The Jungle on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great classic about meat packing industry at the early 1900s.
reviewed The Jungle on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent study of class, immigration, and captialism in early twentieth century America.
reviewed The Jungle on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had to read this in high school, and it was probably the only required reading book that I ever finished AND liked. It was an eye-opening, sometimes emotional, enthralling look into the life of a fictional immigrant family. I plan to read this again soon.
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Helpful Score: 1
A must-read!
reviewed The Jungle on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Oh the horror. After reading this you will defend USDA inspections with your last breath.
reviewed The Jungle on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fast food nation....before there was fast food.
A look into the culture of early America, and potential communism. You will really feel for the families involved.
(my high school history teacher didn't believe I read the entire book. He didn't know about my biblophile tendancies!)
reviewed The Jungle on + 94 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good book, a lot of detail. This was a required book read for a college history class.
reviewed The Jungle on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good book about a family in poverty dealing with the dangerous working conditions of the slaughterhouse.
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I loved this book. It makes you think about how it used to be and what all happens and is in our food.
reviewed The Jungle on + 379 more book reviews
A very dark and disturbing look at the meat packing industry in the early 20th century. Very , Very good. Recommended.
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This book is a tough read. it's easy to understand why it has become a classic. Definitely not a casual book to take to the beach, but more a cold fisted commentary on urban life at the beginning of the 20th century. The book hits hard at the plight of the emmigrants and could apply to our current culture.
reviewed The Jungle on + 18 more book reviews
This book is incredibly gripping until you get to the politics at the end.
reviewed The Jungle on + 38 more book reviews
Shocking novel exposing the horrors of the meat packing industry in early 19th century America. This book strongly leans toward what the author believes to be the positive aspect of socialism.
reviewed The Jungle on + 11 more book reviews
The characters in this book were very believable. That said, it was a little depressing, and got way too political for me.
reviewed The Jungle on + 13 more book reviews
Great book. Powerful, heart breaking and depressing at times. Upton Sinclair did a preeminent job exposing the reality of meat factories during the early 20th century.
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The book is a stark portrayal of the realities of the immigrants who were trampled in the industrial revolution in America. It is extremely well-written and powerful -- definitely worth reading even if the subject matter is rather depressing.
reviewed The Jungle on + 21 more book reviews
The meat packing industry in Chicago in the early 1900s. Very riveting.
reviewed The Jungle on + 54 more book reviews
This is the way it was during the early years of imigration by Europeans and the hell they had to put up with in order to make a living. You think there is a problem with todays meat processing? You haven't even got a clue!!!!!
reviewed The Jungle on + 31 more book reviews
I read parts of this in high school, and picked it up again years later. It was surprising to me how much of it was still relevent. There were things I learned about our modern world that dates back to when this book was written. While some of the conditions may have improved, the desires and greed have remained in our country today.
reviewed The Jungle on + 3 more book reviews
This book is an interesting look at the way immigrants were treated in Chicago's meat-packing industry in the early 1900s.

I didn't like the way the book just sort of ended.
reviewed The Jungle on + 51 more book reviews
I don't recommend reading this if you have a weak stomach. Other than that, it's an interesting, if fairly depressing read. I think it's good to have at least dabbled in the classics.
reviewed The Jungle on + 20 more book reviews
This book was recommended by one of my co-wrokers. I stumbled upon this unabridged copy and I was glad that I read it instead of an abridged version. I think that because this book was written by a socialist, that we get a clearer view of what was going on in America at that time. Not only does this book give the reader insight into the meat processing companies of the day, it also talks to the over all plight of the American immigrants and how American industry and politics were slanted towards corruption. You can feel the anguish of the characters as they struggle for just the basic requirements for survival. This is a good history lesson and is a good read.
reviewed The Jungle on
put to the American public the fundamental questions raised by capitalism in such a way that they could not escape them. When it was first published in 1906, The Jungle exposed the inhumane conditions of Chicagos stockyards and the laborers struggle against industry and wage slavery. It was an immediate bestseller and led to new regulations that forever changed workers rights and the meatpacking industry.
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A TRUE classic!
reviewed The Jungle on + 67 more book reviews
This was a real eye opener to what immigrants were experiencing in everyday life in the slums of Chicago. Their family's encounters with what they thought would be a great new start was depressing and disappointing. This book made me appreciative of the labor laws and regulations we have today. Very good read overall.
reviewed The Jungle on + 17 more book reviews
This book is a classic historical fiction book. The book depicts the life of an immigrant family in the meat packing industry in the 1800's. The "muck rakers" revelations led to the passage of various food health laws in the U.S.
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What a trap the immigrants fell into as they moved to the promising city of Chicago. It explains why the city burned even across the river, and illustrates the gap between the classes. We have it so easy now! And this is why the USDA came about...
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Upton Sinclair wrote this book to bring attention to the problems within the meat-packing industry, and to describe the type of life new immigrants endured. It is well-written, very descriptive and not a "happy" read, but an excellent book for its purpose.
reviewed The Jungle on + 48 more book reviews
ok, read for a college class
reviewed The Jungle on + 24 more book reviews
I thought the book gave a very painful look into the bleak life of immigrants in Chicago in the early 1900s
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This book was revolutionary in that it led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act. A scorching expose of the cattle slaughter houses.
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This is probably my favorite book of all time. I found myself trapped in this tale and unable to put this book down. It is a classic in every way. You want to learn about America at the dawn of the industrial revolution, the treatment of immigrants or coporate greed? Do you want to read a book with happiness, heartbreak and great adventure? It's all right here!
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It seems that Upton Sinclair sat down to attempt writing the most depressing book of all time........he may have succeeded.
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This is a very powerful book. I was lucky enough to read this when I was very young and it was one of the motivating factors in my decision to stop eating meat. Everyone should read this book!
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absolutely worth reading! a really great story set among Chicago early in the century,
in the slaughterhouses. wonderful for historical fiction fans!
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A classic!
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This is one book that everyone should read. It details the life in the meat-packing district of Chicago in the early 20th century and the horrific conditions under which the men had to work. The women's lot was no better, and this was the impetus for the labor movement that brought about so much change. It's been said that America's meat consumption dropped by 25% after this book was published because of the graphic details of the conditions in the plants.
reviewed The Jungle on + 160 more book reviews
In this powerful book we enter the world of Jurgis Rudkus, a young Lithuanian immigrant who arrives in America fired with dreams of opportunity, wealth, and freedom. And we discover, with him, the astonishing truth about "Packingtown," the busy, flourishing, filthy Chicago stockyards, where New World visions perish in a jungle of human suffering. Upton Sinclair, master of the muckraking novel, here explores the workingman's lot at the turn of the century: the backbreaking labor, the injustices of "wage slavery," the bewildering chaos of urban life.
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This was a great insight into "how it really was" in a time that we know nothing about. And even if you do know about it, it's still a great book to read!
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Wonderfully graphic history of early Chicago and the living conditions of the immigrants.
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Man, socialism in the twentieth century is going to rock! That's the ultimate message of Sinclair's preachy tome, which is remembered for its nauseating depictions of the meat trade in Chicago and its influence in getting food laws enacted and trusts busted.

He had a chance to make a great vision of bleakness, and would have if he'd ended about four chapters earlier. It would have been "The Grapes of Wrath," but less subtle. In fact, you know what would make for the shortest essay ever? The title, "The Subtle Aspects of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle." This thing is not subtle. Out hero, Jurgis, goes through an increasingly unlikely set of events so that we can see every facet of the meat industry in Chicago at the turn of the century (hint: it's not pretty). You just see the inevitability of the downward journey from the very beginning, and there's just no way out of it.

Then, for the last four chapters, we get several sermons disguised as conversational dialogue among very smart and good socialists.

Still, the thing is worth a read, and I dearly thank Sinclair for writing this every time I open a can of meat.
reviewed The Jungle on + 15 more book reviews
I picked this up because I had heard of it but never read it. I admit I skimmed a lot as I am not interested in socialism. But the story of the suffering family was beautifully done; more than enough to keep me reading to the end.
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By putting faces via the characters of Jurgis and family to the plight of the workers suffering at the hands of greed and the imbalance of wealth, Sinclair sets the stage for the most eloquent argument in favor of socialism I have ever read.

It is also an early work arguing in favor of vegetarianism, although this is a secondary cause in the book and thus easily forgotten if one is not on the look-out for it.

This book profoundly demonstrates how fiction can work for a cause and humanize, familiarize, and bring to home the faces and reality behind the issues of the day. I highly recommend this powerful work to all.

Check out my full review.
reviewed The Jungle on + 569 more book reviews
Fascinating. A book that shows our current labor conditions have not changed that much the century since it was written. Workers today should read it and think about it.
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I could NOT get into this book so I'm willing to pass it on to someone who thinks they could!
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My grandson had to read it in High School - so did I when I went to school. I read it this time because I wanted to.
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FROM PAPERBACK SWAP: "1906 best-seller shockingly reveals intolerable labor practices and unsanitary working conditions in the Chicago stockyards as it tells the brutally grim story of a Slavic family that emigrates to America full of optimism but soon descends into numbing poverty, moral degradation, and despair. A fiercely realistic American classic that will haunt readers long after they've finished the last page."
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