Now, I'll admit, The Jungle made me more hungry than outraged, but while Teddy freaked out and passed a handful of regulations as a result, the actual book was heavily fictionalized as, you know, fiction books usually are.
Could you clarify what was was and was not fictional in the Jungle?
"The New Deal crippled what little was left of the economy..."
That is false. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Deal#Recovery_2, the economy grew an average of 7.7% each year following the adoption of the New Deal.
Yeah. The effects of the New Deal, how much it helped/harmed the US economy and the longer lasting effects are a source of massive dispute among economic historians, and that glib quip grossly misrepresents the discussions surrounding it. Depending on how you phrase the question, either about half or about a quarter of economic historians believe the New Deal harmed the economy.