The Jungle

Upton SINCLAIR (1878 - 1968)


It is the end of the 19th century. Like thousands of others, the Rudkus family has emigrated from Lithuania to America in search of a better life. As they settle into the Packingtown neighborhood of Chicago, they find their dreams are unlikely to be realized. In fact, just the opposite is quite likely to occur. Jurgis, the main character of the novel, has brought his father Antanas, his fiancée Ona, her stepmother Teta Elzbieta, Teta Elzbieta's brother Jonas and her six children, and Ona's cousin Marija Berczynskas along. The family, naïve to the ways of Chicago, quickly falls prey to con men and makes a series of bad decisions that lead them into wretched poverty and terrible living conditions. All are forced to find jobs in dismal working conditions for their very survival. Jurgis, broken and discouraged, eventually finds solace in the American Socialist movement.

This novel was written during a period in American history when “Trusts” were formed by multiple corporations to establish monopolies that stifled competition and fixed prices. Unthinkable working conditions and unfair business practices were the norm. The Jungle’s author, Upton Sinclair, was an ardent Socialist of the time. Sinclair was commissioned by the “Appeal To Reason”, a Socialist journal of the period, to write a fictional expose on the working conditions of the immigrant laborers in the meat packing industry in Chicago. Going undercover, Sinclair spent seven weeks inside the meatpacking plants gathering details for his novel.

The Reader wishes to gratefully acknowledge the assistance, and patience, of Professor Giedrius Subacius (University of Illinois) and the folks at Lituanus for their invaluable support as I struggled with Lithuanian pronunciations. Truly, this audio book would have been far more difficult, and far less authentic, without their help.

And now, feel free to wander into The Jungle……. (Summary by Tom Weiss)

Genre(s): General Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Chapter 1 Tom Weiss
00:57:04
Play 02 Chapter 2 Tom Weiss
00:27:44
Play 03 Chapter 3 Tom Weiss
00:33:10
Play 04 Chapter 4 Tom Weiss
00:33:27
Play 05 Chaper 5 Tom Weiss
00:27:36
Play 06 Chapter 6 Tom Weiss
00:26:36
Play 07 Chapter 7 Tom Weiss
00:30:13
Play 08 Chapter 8 Tom Weiss
00:20:54
Play 09 Chapter 9 Tom Weiss
00:25:27
Play 10 Chapter 10 Tom Weiss
00:27:09
Play 11 Chapter 11 Tom Weiss
00:26:37
Play 12 Chapter 12 Tom Weiss
00:20:07
Play 13 Chapter 13 Tom Weiss
00:22:39
Play 14 Chapter 14 Tom Weiss
00:20:17
Play 15 Chapter 15 Tom Weiss
00:35:44
Play 16 Chapter 16 Tom Weiss
00:24:48
Play 17 Chapter 17 Tom Weiss
00:26:15
Play 18 Chapter 18 Tom Weiss
00:27:11
Play 19 Chapter 19 Tom Weiss
00:25:28
Play 20 Chapter 20 Tom Weiss
00:27:43
Play 21 Chapter 21 Tom Weiss
00:26:01
Play 22 Chapter 22 Tom Weiss
00:30:06
Play 23 Chapter 23 Tom Weiss
00:27:19
Play 24 Chapter 24 Tom Weiss
00:31:15
Play 25 Chapter 25 Tom Weiss
00:51:20
Play 26 Chapter 26 Tom Weiss
00:44:51
Play 27 Chapter 27 Tom Weiss
00:37:56
Play 28 Chapter 28 Tom Weiss
00:40:51
Play 29 Chapter 29 Tom Weiss
00:24:54
Play 30 Chapter 30 Tom Weiss
00:33:31
Play 31 Chapter 31 Tom Weiss
00:48:35