En 1906, la parution de La Jungle provoque un scandale sans précédent : Upton Sinclair y dévoile l´horreur de la condition ouvrière dans les abattoirs de Chicago aux mains des trusts de la viande. La Jungle est bientôt traduit en dix-sept langues tandis que l´auteur, menacé par les cartels mais porté par le mécontentement populaire, est reçu à la Maison-Blanche par le président Theodore Roosevelt. Une enquête va confirmer ce qu´avance Sinclair et donner lieu à une vague de réformes qui touchent la vie économique toute entière. La Jungle, par sa puissance d´évocation, par sa sincérité, transforment le message humanitaire en épopée.
Comme Émile Zola, Upton Sinclair n'a rien d'un styliste extasié : il peint large, vite, puissant, il emporte le lecteur et l'incite à s'insurger : Sinclair n'aurait pas renié l'acception utilitaire de son travail. Pourtant Pétrole ! demeure un récit d'aventure. Tel Géant, livre qui fut lui aussi adapté au cinéma, ce roman se veut le roman du pétrole, volontiers scélérat, que Sinclair avait déjà affronté en manifestant contre les Rockefeller. [...] Sept cents pages d'idéalisme, empreintes de toutes les composantes du roman d'éducation : on sent qu'Upton Sinclair aspire à donner vie à la chimère de la littérature américaine de tout temps, the great American novel, le grand roman américain à l'échelle du pays-continent qui, une fois pour toutes, s'inscrira dans l'histoire littéraire. Extraits de la préface d'Olivier Barrot.
In this powerful book we enter the world of Jurgis Rudkus, a young Lithuanian immigrant who arrives in America fired with dreams of wealth, freedom, and opportunity. And we discover, with him, the astonishing truth about "packingtown," the busy, flourishing, filthy Chicago stockyards, where new world visions perish in a jungle of human suffering. Upton Sinclair, master of the "muckraking" novel, here explores the workingman's lot at the turn of the century: the backbreaking labor, the injustices of "wageslavery," the bewildering chaos of urban life. The Jungle, a story so shocking that it launched a government investigation, recreates this startling chapter if our history in unflinching detail. Always a vigorous champion on political reform, Sinclair is also a gripping storyteller, and his 1906 novel stands as one of the most important and moving works in the literature of social change.From the Paperback edition.
Sinclair's 1927 novel did for California's oil industry what The Jungle did for Chicago's meat-packing factories. In Oil! Upton Sinclair fashioned a novel out of the oil scandals of the Harding administration, providing in the process a detailed picture of the development of the oil industry in Southern California. Bribery of public officials, class warfare, and international rivalry over oil production are the context for Sinclair's story of a genial independent oil developer and his son, whose sympathy with the oilfield workers and socialist organizers fuels a running debate with his father. Senators, small investors, oil magnates, a Hollywood film star, and a crusading evangelist people the pages of this lively novel.
"Practically alone among the American writers of his generation," wrote Edmund Wilson, "[Sinclair] put to the American public the fundamental questions raised by capitalism in such a way that they could not escape them." When it was first published in 1906, The Jungle exposed the inhumane conditions of Chicago's stockyards and the laborer's struggle against industry and "wage slavery." It was an immediate bestseller and led to new regulations that forever changed workers' rights and the meatpacking industry. A direct descendant of Dickens's Hard Times, it remains the most influential workingman's novel in American literature.
Upton Sinclair's dramatic and deeply moving story exposed the brutal conditions in the Chicago stockyards at the turn of the nineteenth century and brought into sharp moral focus the apalling odds against which immigrants and other working people struggled for their share of the American dream. Denounced by the conservative press as an un-American libel on the meatpacking industry, the book was championed by more progressive thinkers, including then president Theodore Roosevelt, and was a major catalyst to the passing of the Pure Food and Meat Inspection act, which has tremendous impact to this day.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
He was of no consequence - he was flung aside, like a bit of trash, the carcass of some animal. It was horrible, horrible!' Upton Sinclair's searing novel follows the fortunes of Jurgis Rudkus, a young Lithuanian who comes to America with his fiancée and family in search of a better life. What he finds in the stockyards of turn-of-the-century Chicago is a ruthless system that degrades and impoverishes him, and an industry whose filthy practices contaminate the meat it processes. From the stench of the killing-beds to the horrors of the fertilizer-works, the appalling conditions in which Jurgis works are described in documentary detail by an author intent on social reform. So powerful was the book's effect that it led to changes to the food hygiene laws in the United States. Despite this success, the issues of immigrant exploitation and food adulteration addressed by the novel are still very much in evidence today. This new edition considers The Jungle's impact, and its disputed status as propaganda or literature.
Clive Cussler's tales of the Oregon and its crew have made fans of hundreds of thousands of readers. And in this latest adventure, a devastating weapon of unbelievable power is sought by a man of unstoppable greed and ambition...