blog post #48 by Science Fiction Author Clara Bush
Before writing his 1906 bestselling novel, The Jungle, Upton Sinclair spent seven weeks undercover in Chicago meatpacking plants. His purpose in writing his political fiction was to rally support for the factory workers. Sinclair’s graphic details depicting the sale of spoiled beef, poisoned rats ground up into sausage, and workers using the factory floors as toilets did ignite immediate worldwide outrage, but not for the factory workers’ intolerable conditions.
Beef sales fell fifty per cent in America and abroad. Six months later congress passed the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.
(Aside. The first American to win a Novel Peace Prize in Literature, Sinclair Lewis, author of Main Street, worked as a janitor for two months at Helicon Hall.)
The Science Fiction Reality blog is a little science, a little fiction, a little about writing, a little real, and a lot of weird.
Sources of information I Used to Know That Literature by C. Alan Joyce and Sarah Janssen.