The Jungle

In the responses to a Sun-Times inquiry, three of the present candidates for mayor listed “The Jungle” as their favorite book.  When I first read “The Jungle”, I read it from a different perspective; that of someone whose great-grandfather had involvement in the work.

“When Upton Sinclair wrote his classic account of Chicago’s stockyards, “The Jungle”, he described the barbaric working conditions and the exploitation of immigrant workers by an industry whose power elite sought to thwart Joyce’s union.  Joyce was a major source for the book, and Sinclair wrote much of it on Joyce’s back porch.”

Sun-Times, September 2, 1991

I recently visited the house on 44th and Lowe where my great-grandfather, John T. Joyce, met with Upton Sinclair and served as a major source of Sinclair’s “The Jungle”.

My great-grandfather, John T. Joyce, a union organizer, led 45,000 packing house workers to victory and has been cited as the father of the eight-hour work day. I am grateful to have many friends and family who are proud union members. As a child, I had the opportunity to meet Patrick Gorman, the conscience of the American Labor Movement for over 50 years.