This was a good book up till the last 9 chapters or so. I became disgusted with Jurgis when he just up and leaves his family to their fate when his son dies. When Jurgis comes back he is upset a family member is a prostitute now. What did he expect? The book then devolves into why socialism is the best system. I have news for the author. Socialism is one of the worst systems there are to be found. The last part was just pure propaganda barely hidden under a commentary on the human condition. I also have questions about some of the "facts" that Sinclair talks about. I don't know if they were really "facts" or just plot devices for the author to hammer home his ideology and to push his agenda. I do appreciate that this book was instrumental in bringing social changes and regulations to bear on the meat industry. This is the reason for two stars instead of one.