Jack London: Novels and Social Writings (LOA #7): The People of the Abyss / The Road / The Iron Heel / Martin Eden / John Barleycorn / selected essays

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Library of America, 01/11/1982 - 1192 páginas
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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.

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Índice

Preface
5
The Descent
7
Johnny Upright
15
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 Pen
244
Hoboes That Pass in the Night
257
RoadKids and GayCats
274
Two Thousand Stiffs
287
Bulls
299
FOREWORD
319
My Eagle II Challenges III Jacksons Arm IV Slaves of the Machine
360
The Philomaths
368

The Carter and the Carpenter
46
The Spike
56
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
189
Holding Her Down
202
Pictures
218
Pinched
230
Adumbrations
386
The Bishops Vision
393
The Machine Breakers
399
The Mathematics of a Dream
413
The Vortex 386 393 399 413
428
The Great Adventure
437
463
444
The General Strike
454
The Beginning of the End XV Last Days XVI The
463
The Scarlet Livery
486
In the Shadow of Sonoma
494
Transformation
502
A Lost Oligarch
510
The Roaring Abysmal Beast
517
The Chicago Commune
521
The People of the Abyss
534
Nightmare
546
The Terrorists 502 SIO SI7 523
552
Essays II13
1049
Chronology
1167
Notes
1175
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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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