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Best of the Web

Best of the Web

Websites

History of the Chicago Stockyards

This comprehensive history of the Chicago stockyards really fills out the setting of Sinclair's novel. There are amazing (and sometimes disturbing) photographs of the disgraceful working conditions Sinclair describes.

Upton Sinclair: A Biography

This online biography is chock-full of crazy details about Sinclair's many efforts to get elected to public office (never successful) and to break into the film industry (also not really successful). Sinclair was not a lucky guy, we have to say.

Movie or TV Productions

The Jungle (1914)

Original silent version. As a side note, we find it hilarious that The Jungle was made into a movie once in 1914 and – that was it. No more cinematic treatments. We guess directors realized no one wanted to watch a feature length film of a bunch of cows and pigs getting slaughtered?

Fast Food Nation (2006)

Based on a non-fiction book of the same title, this drama focuses on the fast food industry. While not directly related to The Jungle, many see this piece as the modern equivalent of Sinclair's novel.

Supersize Me (2004)

A documentary about fast food. This seems like another great-grandchild of Sinclair's The Jungle.

Food, Inc. (2008)

Another American documentary about the state of food production in America. This one focuses on agribusiness, and includes info on contaminated foods. This film, though not directly related to The Jungle, is in a similar vein.

Documents

Photographs from the Chicago Daily News, 1902-1933

This is just neat. The Library of Congress has posted a searchable database of newspaper photographs that map onto the era Sinclair is describing in The Jungle. If you do a search for the 1904 stockyard strikes, you'll find a lot of fantastic black-and-white stills of the real-life events on which The Jungle is based. We love this site!!

The Novel

The full text of The Jungle, searchable and free.

The Novel, Serialized

The Jungle was originally published in serialized form, one chapter at a time in newspapers (kind of like TV series today). Here you can view some of The Jungle in serial form in The Sun newspaper in July 1906.

To Upton Sinclair

Read President Theodore Roosevelt's 1906 letter to Upton Sinclair and find out what he thought of The Jungle!

The History of the Standard Oil Company

Ida Tarbell's 1904 exposé of the Standard Oil Company. Tarbell, like her contemporary Sinclair, was a famous "muckraker" journalist.

How the Other Half Lives

Journalist Jacob Riis' 1890 exposé of life in New York City tenements. This early work of photojournalism inspired muckrakers to come, like Upton Sinclair. Check this out for more on what life in tenements was like, including plenty of photos.

Audio

Upton Sinclair on the 1904 Stockyard Strike

Listen to Sinclair himself talk about the stockyard strike that inspired him to write The Jungle.

Impact of Sinclair's 'The Jungle' On Food Safety

A 2004 episode of NPR's All Things Considered.

Images

Upton Sinclair Gesturing at the Futility of it All

That's our interpretation, anyway.

Upton Sinclair as a Young Man

This is the image everybody knows.

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