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Brief Book Notes - Upton Sinclair's The Jungle
Nov 6, 2004, 12:01a

Upton Sinclair - The Jungle (1960 Signet Classic)

* This book was critical in the creation of the FDA and USDA and other gov't policies to enforce better working conditions in the meat-packing industry and slaughterhouses.

* Some good quotes:

"His notes are never true, and his fiddle buzzes on the low ones and squeaks and scratches on the high; but these things they heed no more than they heed the dirt and noise and squalor about them - it is out of this material that they have to build their lives, with it that they have to utter their souls." (12)

"To do that would mean, not merely to be defeated, but to acknowledge defeat - and the difference between these two things is what keeps the world going." (18)

"Had he not just gotten a job, and become a sharer in all this activity, a cog in this marvelous machine?" (36)

".. the man who minded his own business and did his work - why, they would 'speed him up' till they had worn him out, and then they would throw him into the gutter." (64)

"It might be true that, strive as he would, toil as he would, he might fail, and go down and be destroyed! The thought of this was like an icy hand at his heart; the thought that here, in this ghastly home of all horror, he and all those who were dear to him might lie and perish of starvation and cold, and there would be no ear to hear their cry, no hand to help them! It was true, it was true - that here in this huge city, with its stores of heaped-up wealth, human creatures might be hunted down and be destroyed by the wild-beast powers of nature, just as truly as ever they were in the days of the cave men!" (118)

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