This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone EditionTM includes a glossary and reader’s notes to help the modern reader contend with Sinclair’s characterizations and language.
Chicago, 1904: The lure of good wages and a chance to
live The American Dream lure thousands of unsuspecting immigrants to the big city, where they find—instead
of wealth and freedom—only stifling poverty, pervasive
corruption, infectious disease, and early death. Upton Sinclair’s masterpiece of muckraking fiction-mixed-with-fact led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, but not
in time to save the struggling Lithuanian family whose
members come to life in The Jungle. The daily dangers of the meatpacking industry, dishonest politicians, and greedy
businessmen, who care only about profits, conspire to rob Jurgis, Marija, Ona, and the rest of their hope and dignity.
One after another, they succumb to the horrors that Sinclair
so vividly depicts.