Margaret Deland to Jane Addams, March 8, 1906

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(Dictated.)

35 Newbury St., Boston.
March 8, 1906.


My dear Miss Addams:-

I have been reading with dismay Mr. Upton Sinclair's book, "The Jungle -- A Story of Packingtown". I am so appalled at the story that Mr. Sinclair tells that my only hope is that it is not true; -- I mean, that Mr. Sinclair has used the prerogative of the novelist to produce emotional effects, irrespective of facts; and yet I confess, <that> as I read the book, that somehow or other it rang true, and it left me profoundly shaken and dismayed. If you have read this dreadful [page 2] story, will you be so kind as to tell me whether Mr. Sinclair is, in your judgment, dealing with facts? I ought to add, of course, that I will not quote what you say. If the book is true then, indeed, it would seem that there is no health in us it would seem that the national irresponsibility which the book portrays is too deep-seated to be reached by such a thing as legislation, - that the Kingdom of God must come from within us, and cannot be created by any legal [measures]. If the book is true, I am sorry that its effect is weakened by turning the last few chapters into a propaganda. It would, [page 3] I am sure, have been much stronger if people had been allowed to make their own deductions. There is one other question that I want to ask: If the book is true, is there anything that the rest of us can do? – except, indeed, to talk about it and write about it with a view of making people read it, so that, [by] and [by], public opinion may be created? I shall be most grateful for anything you can tell me on the subject.

Very truly yours,

Margaret Deland. [signed]

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