The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, is not only a novel but a detailed expose of the corruption among the leaders of the working class and the inequitable living conditions of those struggling to make ends meet in Chicago during the early 20th century.
The novel follows Jurgis Rudkus and his family. They emigrate from Lithuania to Chicago in pursuit of the American dream. Misfortune follows them as soon as they arrive in the city. They make poor decisions about their money and fall prey to swindlers. Soon, they find themselves fighting to survive in the slums of Chicago. They try to make a living working in Chicago's meatpacking industry, but there is no way to get ahead under corrupt leaders who couldn't care less about the safety and welfare of their workers. The family is unable to afford medical care, and horrific working conditions take their toll on family members. Rudkus is faced with tragedy upon tragedy, and eventually runs from the city in despair.
Rudkus returns to Chicago. He trudges through various jobs, a drifter in a cruel town. One night, he stumbles upon a lecture by a socialist. He finally finds a sense of purpose, and becomes affiliated within the socialist movement, working to form labor unions and fighting to end corruption and unfair practice in capitalist society.
The Jungle was an instant success and is now considered a classic. When first published, the public focused on the disgusting offenses and unsafe practices of the meatpacking industry. Concerned about food safety, a outcry among consumers eventually led to the development of the Food and Drug Administration. Today, it is primarily read as Sinclair intended to be read, as a carefully constructed criticism of the nature of capitalism.
Title: The Jungle
Author: Upton Sinclair
Reader: Solo Male
Format: MP3 Audio CD
Tracks / Chapters: 31 Chapters
Total running time: 16:02:48