Jurgis Rudkus, an impoverished Lithuanian immigrant, takes a lowly job at Brown's slaughterhouse to support his young wife and their relatives. Once admiring America for its potential, Rudkus has found opportunities to be too far out of his reach. After being evicted, Rudkus is living in a slum and deeply in debt - unable to support his family. As he attempts to make ends meet, the oppressive working conditions and crippling poverty begin to take a toll on Rudkus and his family.
Public Domain (P)2014 Dreamscape Media, LLC
I always knew of this book from American History classes in high school and college and how it supposedly changed the meat packing industry, but until now I never actually read it.
I can now understand why it made the impact that it did in 1905.
The story follows the hard luck of a Lithuanian immigrant, his family and his struggle for survival in 1904 Chicago.
The descriptions of the working conditions are brutal and sickening. These people were exploited and abused and then tossed out like yesterday' s trash when they were no longer of use. So if reading about it is difficult imagine the poor folks who had to live it.
I did not care for the author's push for socialism but that would be my only minor objection as to the theme. It's a book that needed to be written at that time.
Probably not for many years as it is a painful story but if and when I need a reminder of what mankind is capable of, the good, the bad and the ugly, then I will listen / read it again.
No one moment stands out; the author did a great job of dragging us all down into the trenches of life 'as it is' from page one to the last page.
Excellent narrator. I will watch for Lackey's work again.
Mankind; the good, the bad and the ugly.
We should all listen/read this book at least once every 25 years or so...
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