The Jungle
First Edition   ©2005

The Jungle

Upton Sinclair , Christopher Phelps (The Ohio State University at Mansfield)

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-40037-3; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-40037-8; Format: Paper Text, 200 pages

Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle, which inspired passage in 1906 of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act, stands as a classic of twentieth-century American literature and social protest. In this accessible and thorough edition by Christopher Phelps, a critical introduction addresses the wide range of issues raised by the text, including early twentieth-century working conditions, immigrant community, race and gender, political reform, and the continuing relevance of Sinclair’s investigation. This edition uses the most widely recognized text of The Jungle — the Doubleday, Page edition published in 1906 — and provides an illuminating supporting document: President Theodore Roosevelt’s delivery to Congress of the official report that confirmed The Jungle’s shocking allegations about the Chicago meatpacking industry. Questions for consideration, a chronology, and a selected bibliography help contextualize Sinclair’s novel and provide students with resources for further study.
“Phelps has written an excellent introduction that places The Jungle in a multitude of political, social, and literary genres, thus making the book accessible to all sorts of readers and useful within a multiple set of academic disciplines.”
— Nelson Lichtenstein
University of California,
Santa Barbara