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Extended Audio Sample The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (54,656 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Upton Sinclair Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Here is the dramatic exposé of the Chicago meatpacking industry at the turn of the century that prompted the investigation by Theodore Roosevelt which culminated in the pure-food legislation of 1906.

The Jungle is the story of Jurgis Rudkus, a Slavic immigrant who marries frail Ona Lukoszaite and seeks security and happiness as a workman in the Chicago stockyards. Once there, he is abused by foremen; his meager savings are filched by real estate sharks; and at every turn he is plagued by the misfortunes arising from poverty, poor working conditions, and disease. Finally, in accordance with Sinclair’s own creed, Rudkus turns to socialism as a way out.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Sinclair] saw through the lies of his era and exposed a world long hidden from view. He showed compassion for the weak and the poor, the powerless and the despised. He created images and characters that are poignant and memorable. He fueled anger at injustice. It is no fault of his that the old lies have lately been repeated, that important lessons have been forgotten, and that somehow we now find ourselves back in the jungle, with and odd feeling of déjà vu.”

    Eric Schlosser, New York Times bestselling author of Fast Food Nation

  • “Mr. Sinclair in The Jungle has given to the world a close, a striking, and, we may say, in many ways a brilliant study of the great industries of Chicago.”

    New York Times

  • “More telling and more moving than even the works of Dickens and Zola.”

    Atlantic Monthly

  • “The most famous, influential, and enduring of all muckraking novels.”

    Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rmry68 | 2/16/2014

    " Depressing from start to finish. :( hard to read about all that suffering. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dale Gomez | 2/14/2014

    " Every high school in America should have this as required reading. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Gabi | 2/11/2014

    " Worst book I have EVER read in my life, Junie B. Jones is more entertaining than this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Roland Allnach | 1/28/2014

    " Part family narrative, and part political discourse, Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle' has a clearly defined appeal to both these camps of interested readers, but if either camp is looking for a book devoted to their respective interest, they may be disappointed. This is not meant as a criticism, but rather praise for what Sinclair crafted in the telling of this story, which follows the horrors endured by an immigrant family coming to America for the 'working man's dream' only to be ground under the wheels of corporate greed, crooked politicians, and a careless capitalist society. Some readers may wish to distinguish the two different parts of the book, but considering Sinclair's goals in the crafting of this book, I think the different parts of this book should be understood as intertwined. There have been other books about the plight of immigrant workers, and yet other books about socialism and political commentary, but Sinclair's is different in that it is a very human tale. Without the emotional investment in the characters and their struggles as complete people, the latter stages of the book would not resonate as they do, and, in hindsight, it is rather clear that the early parts of the book are to serve the latter, more political parts. And while in the United States we like to believe things have changed with our industrial regulations, whether or not one is to subscribe to this belief all one has to do to find the world Sinclair describes is look out to developing nations and the horrors many of their laborers endure in this current day. In that regard 'The Jungle' is still relevant, and remains a needed portrait of the experiences of people considered by larger economic forces to be 'expendable' labor. I for one did prefer the earlier, less political, stages of the book, as the message is relayed through the narrative events, and, in my opinion, most vividly when the main character, Jurgis, decides to work for the forces of corruption that had led to so much ruin in his life. When he sees the hollow, disgusting- although profitable- charade of that life, the book then moves into its final arc, which is overt political lecturing. Regardless of one's particular interest, this remains an important book, and an excellent exercise of prose. "

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