Novels and Social Writings

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Library of America, 1982 - 1192 páginas
By turns an impoverished laborer, a renegade adventurer, a war correspondent in Mexico, a declared socialist, and a writer of enormous popularity the world over, Jack London was the author of brilliant works that reflect his ideas about twentieth-century capitalist societies while dramatizing them through incidents of adventure, romance, and brutal violence. His prose, always brisk and vigorous, rises in The People of the Abyss to italicized horror over the human degradations he saw in the slums of East London. It also accommodates the dazzling oratory of the hero of The Iron Heel, an American revolutionary named Ernest Everhard, whose speeches have the accents of some of London's own political essays, like the piece (reprinted in this volume) entitled "Revolution." London's prophetic political vision was recalled by Leon Trotsky, who observed that when The Iron Heel first appeared, in 1907, not one of the revolutionary Marxists had yet fully imagined "the ominous perspective of the alliance between finance capitalism and labor aristocracy."

Whether he is recollecting, in The Road, the exhilarating camaraderie of hobo gangs, or dramatizing, in Martin Eden, a life like his own, even to the foreshadowing of his own death at age forty, or confessing his struggles with alcoholism in the memoir John Barleycorn, London displays a genius for giving marginal life the aura of romance. Violence and brutality flash into life everywhere in his work, both as a condition of modern urban existence and as the inevitable reaction to it.

Though he is outraged in The People of the Abyss by the condition of the poor in capitalist societies, London is even more appalled by their submission, and in the novel he wrote immediately afterward, The Call of the Wild (in the companion volume, Novels and Stories), he constructed an animal fable about the necessary reversion to savagery. The Iron Heel, with its panoramic scenes of urban warfare in Chicago, envisions the United States taken over by fascists who perpetuate their regime for three hundred years. It constitutes London's warning to his fellow socialists that mere persuasion is insufficient to combat a system that ultimately relies on force.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - annasazi - LibraryThing

Read Iron Heel only. A bit ponderous in the beginning because of all the socialist dialogue, but it picks up later and ended up being surprisingly enjoyable. Interesting as a near futuristic vision of ... Leer comentario completo

LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - Geedge - LibraryThing

Great. Essential reading - George Orwell's Down and Out and Wigan Pier were strongly influenced by The People of The Abyss; 1984 and other Dystopias were influenced by The Iron Heel, which was the ... Leer comentario completo

Páginas seleccionadas

Contenido

Preface S 1 The Descent
7
Johnny Upright IS III My Lodging and Some Others
19
A Man and the Abyss
23
Those on the Edge
30
Fryingpan Alley and a Glimpse of Inferno
35
A Winner of the Victoria Cross
41
The Carter and the Carpenter
46
The Spike
56
Two Thousand Stiffs
287
Bulls
299
FOREWORD
319
My Eagle
323
Challenges
337
Jacksons Arm
350
Slaves of the Machine
360
The Philomaths
368

Carrying the Banner
69
The Peg
73
Coronation Day
82
Dan Cullen Docker
93
Hops and Hoppers
97
The Sea Wife
104
Property versus Person
108
Inefficiency
113
Wages
119
The Ghetto
124
Coffeehouses and Dosshouses
135
The Precariousness of Life
143
Suicide
152
The Children
158
A Vision of the Night
163
The Hunger Wail
166
Drink Temperance and Thrift
173
Confession
197
Pictures
218
Pinched
230
The Pen
244
Hoboes That Pass in the Night
257
RoadKids and GayCats
274
Adumbrations
386
The Bishops Vision
393
The Machine Breakers
399
The Mathematics of a Dream
413
The Vortex
428
The Great Adventure
437
The Bishop
444
The General Strike
454
The Beginning of the End
463
Last Days
471
The End
477
The Scarlet Livery
486
In the Shadow of Sonoma
494
Transformation
502
A Lost Oligarch
510
The Roaring Abysmal Beast
517
The Chicago Commune
523
The People of the Abyss
534
Nightmare
546
The Terrorists
552
Chronology
1167
Notes
1175
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Acerca del autor (1982)

John Griffith "Jack" London (1876?1916) is an American author, journalist, and social activist. Some of his most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang, as well as the short stories "To Build a Fire", "An Odyssey of the North", and "Love of Life".

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