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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $17.00
  • December 2002
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97779-0
  • 512 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies and the Philippines.

The Jungle

Norton Critical Editions


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Upton Sinclair (Author), Clare Virginia Eby (Editor, University of Connecticut)


The Jungle's influence has been extraordinary for a literary work. Upton Sinclair's 1906 landmark novel is widely credited with awakening the public fury that led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906), a watershed in consumer protection and government legislation.

This story of the immigrant experience in the harrowing Chicago stockyards has drawn comment from historians, policymakers, and literary critics, and it is a widely assigned teaching text. The novel is accompanied by an introduction and explanatory annotations.

"Contexts and Backgrounds" provides readers with an understanding of The Jungle's disparate social, historical, political, and literary dimensions. Included are autobiographical selections by the author; contemporary perspectives on the meatpacking industry, including writings by Theodore Dreiser, Adolphe Smith, and J. Ogden Armour; and commentary on the living conditions of immigrant workers. Historical studies by Jimmy Skaggs, Rick Halpern, James Barrett, Robert M. Crunden, John Braeman, William Cronon, and Eric Schlosser address the central issues: slaughterhouse abuses, protectionism and The Beef Trust, muckraking, Progressivism, and consumer rights.

"Criticism" collects eight provocative readings of The Jungle as a literary text, as a historical document in its own right, as a contribution to Progressive-era muckraking, and as an important work in urban, economic, and labor history. Contributions include Jack London, Edward Clark Marsh, Winston Spencer Churchill, Walter Rideout, June Howard, Scott Derrick, Michael Brewster Folsom, and Christopher P. Wilson.

A Selected Bibliography is also included.



    A Note on the Text

    The Text of The Jungle

    Contexts and Backgrounds


    1. Upton Sinclair – From Appeal to Reason
      1. [Sinclair and Sentimentalism]
      2. [An Alternate Ending]
    2. Upton Sinclair – [The Early Life of a Muckraker]
    3. Upton Sinclair – What Life Means to Me
    4. Upton Sinclair – What Socialism Means to Me
    5. Upton Sinclair – Art and Propaganda


    1. Theodore Dreiser – [Interview with P.D. Armour]
    2. Harper Leech and John Charles Carroll – [Portrait of a Beef Baron]
    3. Charles Edward Russell – [The Beef Trust]
    4. A.M. [Algie] Simons – The Perfection of Capitalism
    5. Adolphe Smith – [Cruelty to Animals]
    6. J. Ogden Armour – [A Packer’s Rebuttal]
    7. U.S. Bureau of Corporations – [Division of Labor in the Meatpacking Industry]
    8. John R. Commons – [Social and Economic Implications of the Division of Labor]


    1. Antanas Kaztauskis – From Lithuania to the Chicago Stockyards—An Autobiography
    2. J. C. Kennedy – [Immigrant Wages and Family Budgets]
    3. Sophonisba P. Breckenridge and Edith Abbott – Housing Conditions in Chicago, Ill
      1. Back of the Yards
    4. Charles J. Bushnell – The Social Problem of the Chicago Stock Yards
    5. Vice Commission of Chicago – Immigrant Women and Prostitution
    6. Jon M. Kingsdale – The “Poor Man’s Club”: Social Functions of the Urban Working-
    7. Class Saloon
    8. Anonymous – Slaughterhouse Humor


    1. Jimmy Skaggs – [Market Conditions and the Beef Trust]
    2. Rick Halpern – [Racial and Ethnic Divisions in the Slaughterhouses]
    3. James Barrett – Packingtown’s Women Workers and Labor Resistance
    4. Robert M. Crunden – [Muckraking, Progressivism, and the Pure Food and Drug Law]
    5. John Braeman – [The Extension of Federal Power]
    6. William Cronon – [The Packing Industry in the Ecosystem]
    7. Eric Schlosser – [Back to The Jungle: A View from the Twenty-First Century]


    1. Jack London – What Jack London Says of The Jungle
    2. Edward Clark Marsh – The Jungle
    3. Winston Spencer Churchill – The Chicago Scandals: The Novel which is Making History
    4. Walter Rideout – [Jurgis’s Conversion]
    5. June Howard – [Sinclair’s Documentary Strategy]
    6. Scott Derrick – [Gender in The Jungle]
    7. Michael Brewster Folsom – [The Development of The Jungle]
    8. Christopher P. Wilson – [The Ironies of Progressive Era Authorship]

    Selected Bibliography