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You know I was school of the air presents. Why is a writer. Why is a writer is produced by Radio Station WSU why under a grant from the Educational Television Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Today's programme in the jungle. Chicago 904 the stockyards hotel. Well I mean we're all. Yes. How much do you want to play. What's the cheapest. All the way up 35 cents. You get picky when you pay the money. Since there's a K and I'll forget to lock the door after you. We're not responsible for your
stuff. Thinks. It was September 900 for the wind from the lake was starting to feel cold especially for hey you know me. I need your name for the register. Sinclair what. Well that's the last name first name's Upton Upton Sinclair Upton Sinclair writer success. Not quite. Unemployed you might say. But with plans to write a book a book about the people here hear around the Stock Yards everyone looks for enough all right. Face is red hands we're case hard workers. Well he means probably a lot of them out of work on the streets and a lot of them. Where do they work in the winter when it's cold already and it'll be cold or maybe I want to buy him a shirt.
I meant much to this room. How much. Did the big either but it was all right. He expected it. This wasn't a holiday it was a job a hard job a job of writing. There were things about the stockyards that people ought to know that they ought to read about. Some of the days in September were still bright and warm. The people were friendly if they trusted you. He is not for the band not for the rent. How do you know that's the Ask your father or your not for the rain you know.
Then what. Just to talk a little about what the stockyards the kind of work it is. Well do I know. Maybe he's a spy maybe or a spy a spy from the meatpackers and that possible don't mind him instead he's all upset. What do you do. Why do you stop here and a man told me to come. I spoke with him last night and he said if you want to know really know about it go and talk with Rod K. me who's the man. Or Henry Jake Kobus. Oh why didn't you say you should have seen Mr. Jacobus is a cousin of my mother's youngest brother. He's a good worker and almost owned his own house. We were afraid you came for rent. I don't work now. Since the accident I did the company give you something or something because you had an accident. They fired him right away. They fired me but no money for the accident never. All up and down the streets people like me they don't get money. Think of all the money no company never pays money for such things not to anyone
never. That's what they tell you from the start. Be careful. If you don't be careful. It's too bad for you that's what they say. Sure it's true. Never since I run this place 10 years and I don't know a man who's collected. Well why don't they sue the company. I've got a customer. Yeah not one. Especially they don't want to so why not. If a man is injured on company time with company equipment. Look.
First they don't have money for a lawyer. It takes a lawyer to sue right. Second that's all they need. You know what the company can do. What blackball blacklist. Take Rocky They put his name in a list nobody would hire him. Nobody in the whole industry not in Chicago not in St. Louis not Nourmahal not in Kansas City. You're joking. No everybody knows it. That's why nobody squawks. You would think things like that never went on in America I wouldn't. I didn't. I've been to college. I've seen poor people before. I've been poor myself. Listen nobody cares. The company brings these people over from Europe puts them to work cheap and when they get used up sick injured like Rocky. Look nobody cares. We take another street guy you came to work this way. Sometimes I walk. It
must be five miles it don't kill me. Sometimes I walk in morning ride in the evening. They charge two times what it used to be one. A friend told me how it was if one company owns the streetcar and the law doesn't let them charge for two rides when you change cars we take that one. But if one company makes itself into two companies then the law says yes charge to time. Yes. Yet. He see what I mean. That's the building where you work. That's it. I worked there six years. Dirty Filthy the old country was pool or. But more clean. All of the meat was the meat. Don't talk don't
ask. They put it in cans. But who would eat it. Terrible terrible. They sent it to the army makes people sick but no one who knows what he did. Come this way I'll show you where they kill the animals. The cold weather had come the smell of the stockyard wasn't so heavy but in the winter there were more workers out of a job. Families and their children do sell papers. The winds blew cold from the lake. Yet even in the winter there was sometimes a spark. One Sunday Sinclair wandered into a wedding celebration. There are never that you would never know without a cousin you know but don't yet have a lot of what does her husband do for a minute
and when other men have no way he would that would be easier for the celebration. I want to ask how much Sonia has to pay something back your father Corey back to the money. Maybe he don't know how. There were times of happiness times which were few and far between and during that long winter and the following spring Upton Sinclair took his walks and asked his questions and fill his notebooks full of what he had seen and heard. Leavin leavin on a strange time was more work now. A better job. The catalog started coming in faster than I've seen when I came to see what was that. We people who
leave you might see. Come on now you work for one of the company. No. Well who do you work for. You've been here a long time just to see what's going on. Takes a long time to see some things. Some folks did and I guess I'm one of those folks. I sure would like to be like that who like. Like you for instance from a time when I had time to say don't forget to leave the key. Look here I'm not I'm a writer. That's what I mean. It's not like working. Upton Sinclair paid writer by a newspaper called Appeal to Reason paid by that paper to go to Chicago and
find out the facts of the meat packing industry. And that's what he did. The result was printed first in the paper. Then in a book called The Jungle. Senator there's got to be a law that controls me. I'm sorry I'm just reading what goes on in Chicago in the book about what the companies do. First industry. Speaking. This has been another
broadcaster. This is the end Radio Network.
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Why is a writer?
The Jungle
Producing Organization
University of Iowa
WSUI 910 AM (Radio station : Iowa City, Iowa)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-k9316p68).
Episode Description
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, about social and health reform in the meat industry.
Series Description
Produced by the Iowa School of the Air, this series focuses on various works of literature from Shakespeare to Twain.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Actor: Morris, Greg
Actor: Wilkins, Fred
Announcer: Setterberg, Dick
Director: Walcoff, Larry
Producing Organization: University of Iowa
Producing Organization: WSUI 910 AM (Radio station : Iowa City, Iowa)
Writer: Horowitz, Floyd
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: S60-6-21 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:30?
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Chicago: “Why is a writer?; The Jungle,” 1961-03-03, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
MLA: “Why is a writer?; The Jungle.” 1961-03-03. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <>.
APA: Why is a writer?; The Jungle. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from