The Jungle

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For nearly a century, the original version of Upton Sinclair’s classic novel has remained almost entirely unknown. When it was published in serial form in 1905, it was a full third longer than the censored, commercial edition published in book form the following year. That expurgated commercial edition edited out much of the ethnic flavor of the original, as well as some of the goriest descriptions of the meat-packing industry and much of Sinclair’s most pointed social and political commentary. The text of this new edition is as it appeared in the original uncensored edition of 1905. It contains the full 36 chapters as originally published, rather than the 31 of the expurgated edition. A new foreword describes the discovery in the 1980s of the original edition and its subsequent suppression, and a new introduction places the novel in historical context by explaining the pattern of censorship in the shorter commercial edition.


One thought on “The Jungle”

  1. Well, darn! I read the book with only 31 chapters and I thought this version was brutal! Don’t think I needed any further details of “the killing floor.”
    As history, I truly, truly was captivated. It reminded me a lot of Grapes of Wrath and other books on the Dust Bowl and the sadness provoked by the Great Depression. Sinclair hasn’t sold me on Socialism (esp when our wealthy capitalists pay such an inordinate proportion of our taxes!) yet I’m appreciative of the improvements this book encouraged, not only for workers but of the sanitation improvements when processing meats.
    My heart broke reading of the horrid exploitation of these uneducated immigrants. Witnessing this through the personal story of Jurgis Rudkas and his extended family caused me to identify with and feel their pain as their loss of innocence led to the eventual destruction of their angelic dreams of a new life in America.

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