ChicagoHamburg 30: Meatpacking in Chicago and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906): Meatpacking in Chicago and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906)

Douglas Cowie (Performer), Dominic Pacyga (Performer), Andrew Sola (Producer)

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


No industry shaped Chicago more decisively than the meatpacking industry, and no book exposed the rapacious, exploitative and vicious character of the meatpacking industry more than Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906).

In this episode, we explore the origins and explosive growth of the meatpacking industry, the brutal working conditions on the bloody killing floors, the emergence of literature about Chicago in the early 1900s, the importance of Lithuanians in Chicago history, the life of Upton Sinclair, his urban realist and naturalist writing style, and his political ideas as seen in The Jungle.

Our expert guests are historian Dr. Dominic Pacyga, co-founder of Chicago's Packingtown Museum, and novelist Dr. Douglas Cowie, creator of the Literature of Chicago Course at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Visit the Packingtown Museum, voted the best small museum in Chicago. More information is available here:
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAmerikazentrum Hamburg
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2024


  • Chicago
  • Meatpacking
  • Upton Sinclair
  • The Jungle
  • Packingtown
  • American History
  • American Literature

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