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- ISBN: 1595473742
- Publisher: [S.I.] : NuVision Publications, 2004.
The hero, Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant, comes to America with a group of his fellow countrymen to realize the dream of a safe and prosperous life. His hopes are soon crushed when he finds himself in the Packingtown district of Chicago employed in a meatpacking plant. The working conditions are dangerous and unsanitary, and the foremen demand arduous effort from him and his colony of ignorant and uneducated laborers. Workmen had fallen into the vats of dead animals mixed with chemicals and were ground up into meat. The equipment was unsafe, and limbs were lost to the sharp knives. A more gruesome example concerned a little boy who had been given drinks of beer and was left, forgotten, in the cold factory overnight and found eaten by rats in the morning. Corrupt political hacks offer Jurgis a brief respite from hopelessness, but his subjugation by these bosses and their immortal deceit intensifies his struggle. Jurgis is overwhelmed in this battle, surrenders to exhaustion, becomes a common thief and a beggar. Here Sinclair presents the remedy for these industrial atrocities--the practical virtues of socialism. Jurgis quickly becomes an advocate of the socialist movement that promises to deliver control of the situation to the working class. This story, from an historical perspective, forced the United States federal government to take action and reform the meatpacking industry by enacting the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Please Note: This book has been reformatted to be easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. The Adobe eBook has bookmarks at chapter headings and is printable up to two full copies per year. Both versions are text searchable.
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