March 3, 2006
How Should We Teach 'The Jungle'?
I first encountered Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, his influential novel set in the meatpacking industry, in a classroom. So do most readers, I suspect. A study published last year by Daniel J. Cohen in The Journal of American History finds The Jungle to be among the top five supplementary texts assigned in the U.S. undergraduate history survey, ahead of Thomas Paine's Common Sense and The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
My initial encounter with the novel took place in a literature class at