The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (Signet Classics)

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

At the dawn of the 20th century, the progressive reform movement was beginning to take root in the United States. Novelist, journalist, and muckraker Upton Sinclair was one of the most significant figures in this movement. His 1904 novel The Jungle was a brutal expose of the American meat industry.

When Sinclair wrote The Jungle, he hoped to advance socialist causes. However, readers were less concerned with the harsh working conditions and more worried about the unsanitary practices in these factories. Sinclair claimed that he “aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Although the novel may not have had the impact that Sinclair intended, it still inspired change. President Theodore Roosevelt, who had once described Sinclair as a “crackpot,” agreed with the core message of the book, saying that “radical action must be taken to do away with the efforts of arrogant and selfish greed on the part of the capitalist.” In 1906, Congress passed the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.

The Jungle was a massive success from the moment it was released. Since its initial publication, the book has never been out of print. It has been translated into more than 20 languages and reprinted countless times. This particular cover comes from the 1960 Signet Classics edition. As is the case with most Signet Classics from this period, the cover artist is not credited, so we have no idea who created this wonderful cover.

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