100 Years of Jungle
"The only part of the pig they don't use here is the squeal."
You read weird things when you're trying to distract yourself from Moroccan pop culture overload... But The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is a classic. So I figured, why not?
It's a wonderful book, and exactly 100 years old this year. You can read it online here.
You may have heard that the story has something vaguely to do with the beef industry and unsanitary conditions. And it does document absolutely disgusting food-preparation practices. In fact, it led directly to the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration.
What doesn't get taught in schools, though, is the fact that, while The Jungle is a very compellingly written novel, it also contains a fully rendered analysis of free market capitalism. Yes, Sinclair was a socialist, and he wrote the novel to show how workers were being exploited by the bosses. In fact, the "disgusting" parts take up only the first third of the book, while the rest shows the depths to which wage slavery will bring otherwise decent, ordinary folk.
So go read The Jungle for the first time, or read it again!