Today I will be reviewing:
Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
Upton Sinclair’s muckraking masterpiece The Jungle centers on Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant working in Chicago’s infamous Packingtown. Instead of finding the American Dream, Rudkus and his family inhabit a brutal, soul-crushing urban jungle dominated by greedy bosses, pitiless con-men, and corrupt politicians.
While Sinclair’s main target was the industry’s appalling labor conditions, the reading public was most outraged by the disgusting filth and contamination in American food that his novel exposed. As a result, President Theodore Roosevelt demanded an official investigation, which quickly led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug laws. For a work of fiction to have such an impact outside its literary context is extremely rare. (At the time of The Jungle’s publication in 1906, the only novel to have led to social change on a similar scale in America was Uncle Tom’s Cabin.)
Today, The Jungle remains a relevant portrait of capitalism at its worst and an impassioned account of the human spirit facing nearly insurmountable challenges.
The first half of this book was disgusting. Truly nasty. And to think that this was a real account of what people ate back in the early 1900s. I couldn’t believe it. It was almost like it was a fantasy book and these things didn’t actually happen. It just blew me away. Now, I don’t think I won’t ever eat meat again, but I will think twice before eating sausage for sure! If you ever have needed a reason to give up meat, this will do it for you. Seriously. I even read some of the grotesque stuff to Jeremy (who loves meat) and he agreed that it was really gross.
I was rooting for the characters of the book. I really was. And sometimes they get so frustrating. Like why would you get back in trouble and go to jail after you have money for the first time in your life? Why would you do that? What possessed you to get so violent? No matter how hard you root for them and want them to flourish, they don’t….they always seem to get back into trouble.
Overall though, this book has been amazing and opened my eyes to the world of food before the FDA was created. And it will make me think twice before buying meats forever.