Not since Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin had there been a book that would affect such a large part of the American public and move them to action. In some of the most harrowing scenes ever written in modern literature, Upton Sinclair vividly depicted factory life in Chicago in the first years of the twentieth century. The horrors of the slaughterhouse, their barbarous working conditions . . . the crushing poverty, the disease and the despair—he revealed all through the eyes of Jurgis Rudkus, a young immigrant who came to the New World to build a home for himself and his family.
Published in 1906, The Jungle not only aroused the indignation of the public but forced a government investigation that let to the passage of pure food laws. It also established its young author as one of the world's leading spokesmen for the rights of the working man. The Jungle continues to pack the same emotional power today as it did almost a century ago.
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