I had heard of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair before. It always seemed to appear in trivia questions as “Which book helped form the Food & Drug Administration?” I chose not to read this book just because I didn’t think I could stomach anything about the meat industry in the early 1900’s. My thinking went like this “Meat industry in early 1900’s=grossness now let’s read a book about butterflies.”
However, it was on Rory’s book list so I had to read it. Yes, the meat industry in the early 1900’s=grossness times ten. However, the book is so beautifully written. Just the use of words is incredible. Usually I start yelling “just say what you mean” if words are too flowery & then people look at me. This book just captivated me & I’m glad that I bought it in hard cover because it’s going to have a place on my bookshelf for a long time to come.
Here are a few facts about The Jungle by Upton Sinclair from Wikipedia:
He went to Chicago intending to write the book. When he arrived at a hotel near the stockyards he supposedly said “Hello! I’m Upton Sinclair, and I’m here to write the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of the Labor Movement!”
The Jungle received five rejections before it was published.
The book was intended to reform living conditions of the working class but instead led to meat packing regulations. Sinclair is quoted as saying “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”