Upton Sinclair's The Jungle | 2000
Upton Sinclair's main intent in writing "The Jungle" was to direct the nation's attention to the plight of workers who powered the industrial revolution. The story introduces readers to the fictional Rudkus family, poor immigrants who work their lives away in gloomy Packington. Sinclair, a devote socialist, was born to poor parents, but spent much of his childhood with his rich grandparents. Straddling the worlds of the "haves" and "have nots" fundamentally influenced his world views, making him a champion of the poor. "The Jungle," his only commercially successful book, grew out of several stories on the meat-packing industry Sinclair had written for the Socialist newspaper the Appeal. Public horror at the sanitary conditions portrayed in the novel led to a host of industry regulations and laws requiring food quality standards. President Roosevelt read the book and ordered an investigation of the meat-packing industry.