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Books that Shaped Work in America

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Title    Author    Year    Contributors
The Jungle

The Jungle

Author: Upton Sinclair

Year Published: 1906

Description: A novel based on a seven-week undercover investigation originally conducted for a socialist newspaper, The Jungle brought widespread attention to unsafe and unsanitary practices in the meatpacking plants of Chicago in the early 20th century. In so doing, it also exposed — as per the author's stated intentions — the pervasive poverty and lack of protections among workers of that time, especially European immigrants, juxtaposed against the corruption of those in power. In the book, these social issues are depicted through the hardships endured by main character Jurgis Rudkus and his family.

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'There is one kind of prison where the man is behind bars, and everything that he desires is outside; and there is another kind where things are behind bars, and the man is outside'

The Jungle

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The Department of Labor touches almost every aspect of working in America, including:

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