Simply an amazing book and one of the more important ones in US history (generally credited for the eventual creation of the FDA). Though the main charactor's sudden revelation about socialism vs capitalism was a little like getting hit over the head, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. The human misery side was so searingly painful. Sinclair did a fantastic job of capturing the helplessness of the working families during this era.
As I near the end of 'The Jungle', I am struck by the simplicity of Jurgis' mind. Over and over he is deceived by those around him, often to the detriment of not only himself, but his family and friends as well. He is almost ceasing to be a character and more a symbol of the workingman, bound and beaten by the overseer that is capitalism. Upton Sinclair's socialist leanings shine through loud and clear in this book and offer a sharp, if not completely accurate, counterpoint to those who would argue for unfettered capitalism.