Before Workers’ Compensation: Work Injuries in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle

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Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, published in 1906, is the classic novel depicting the difficult lives of workers in the meat-packing industry in Chicago during the first decade of the last century.  Work injuries, in this pre-workers’ compensation era, are depicted in the book as the proximate cause of many disasters to befall the struggling immigrant family which is the focus of the novel’s action.  Read Judge Torrey’s complete review of this literary classic to learn more about the work conditions that, in part, gave rise to the need and desire for workers’ compensation laws.