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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack London's prophetic 1908 dystopian novel
In 1905 the troops of the Tsar crushed the Russian revolution of 1905. Although the uprising did force Nicholas II to establish a consitution and a parliament, the Russian revolution of 1917 would change the face of the world. However, the uprising also had the interesting effect of inspiring two of the more interesting utopian novels of the early 20th century. One was...
Published on 26 Oct. 2003 by Amazon Customer

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is so badly printed that it is almost unreadable.The print is minute, and the "footnotes " are microscopic.
This book is so badly printed that it is almost unreadable.The print is minute, and the "footnotes " are microscopic. I am sending it back as not fit for purpose as soon as I can find out how to do a return.
Published 18 months ago by Dr Andre E M McLean


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack London's prophetic 1908 dystopian novel, 26 Oct. 2003
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Iron Heel (Hardcover)
In 1905 the troops of the Tsar crushed the Russian revolution of 1905. Although the uprising did force Nicholas II to establish a consitution and a parliament, the Russian revolution of 1917 would change the face of the world. However, the uprising also had the interesting effect of inspiring two of the more interesting utopian novels of the early 20th century. One was "Red Star," the socialist utopia on Mars created by the Russian writer Alexander Bogdanov, a Bolshevik and intimate of Lenin. The other was "The Iron Heel," by Jack London, the American author best known for "The Call of the Wild." Whereas Bogdanov forsees the ultimate victory of the socialist and scientific-technical revolutions, London predicts global revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces ending up in an apocalyptic battle betwen the impoverished workers and the privileged minorities. Consequently, the two authors share a common socialist perspective, although Bogdanov writes a utopian novel and London creates a dystopia.
"The Iron Heel" was written in 1908 and remains one of the more prophetic novels of the 20th century. His track record with regards to a national secrety police agency, the rise of Fascism, the creation of attractive suburbs for the middle class while the unemployed and menials live in "ghettoes," is remarkedly better than that of Edward Belleamy's "Looking Backward," Aldoux Huxley's "Brave New World," or George Orwell's "1984," the novels that are usually judged by their prescience in terms of utopian literature.
The novel presents the story of the American revolutionary Earnest Everhard, as told by his wife Avis, who is actually the more effective revolutionary leader. London tells how the manuscript was unknown for seven centuries, to be discovered long after the final triumph of socialist democracy in the yar 419 B.O.M. Avis Everhard describes the struggles of the working masses against the oligarchy, and how they were ruthlessly suppressed, especially in the Chicago Commune that is the main setting for the action. There is a strong current of violence, with Black Hundreds wrecking the socialist presses,a bomb exploding in the House of Representatives, and revolutionaries being hunted down by the military arm of the government known as the Iron Heel. The Everhard Manuscript breaks off in the middle of a sentence, a footnote explaining that history does not know if the author escaped or was captured.
The story is somewhat atypical for London in that it does not represent the white supermacist and male dominant vision of the world we usually find in his novels. London's message is the blatant warning that if you allow the Revolution to be defeated, then the ruling class will "grind you revolutionists down under our heel, and we shall walk upon your faces." Ultimately "The Iron Heel" is a novel whose importance clearly outstrips its literary quality. The problem is that with the end of World War II and the defeat (essentially) of Fascism that London's novel was no longer of interest as the world was confronted with a new set of problems. Yet, London's dytopian novel is one of the works in that genre that deserves to be reconsidered more often.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depressingly accurate analysis of politics and power, 18 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: The Iron Heel (Paperback)
For me, Jack London is one of the best authors of modern times, and The Iron heel, along with The Sea wolf are amongst his best books. Read this if you want to understand how the elites of the business and political world conspire to increase their wealth and secure it, at the expense of everyone else, whilst trying to maintain a facade of respectability and responsibility.

Then despair at how things have got progressively worse since this book was written, with MP's and big business' roles being virtually interchangable, all the time stealing and lying their way into the millionaires club. Its all the more pertinent in the aftermath of the `banking crisis' and the eurozone situation; which will see the elites come out richer yet again, at the rest of us suffer, thanks entirely to their machinations.

Oh, and its a good read too!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More on Target than Orwell's 1984!, 27 May 1998
By A Customer
With "The Iron Heel," Jack London does a much better job of predicting today's world than George Orwell's book "1984." London depicts a world where government serves the business community, not the people, and there has been an incredible concentration in the ownership of the means of communication and the media. Speak out against this and the iron heel crushes you.
This book is an exciting, political adventure romance that you can't put down -- as long as you get through the first 40 pages of downright boring socialist polemics. If you want to really understand where we are headed, read "The Iron Heel" it today. Hard to believe it was written in 1906.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jack London's prophetic 1908 dystopian novel, 1 Nov. 2003
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Iron Heel (Paperback)
In 1905 the troops of the Tsar crushed the Russian revolution of 1905. Although the uprising did force Nicholas II to establish a consitution and a parliament, the Russian revolution of 1917 would change the face of the world. However, the uprising also had the interesting effect of inspiring two of the more interesting utopian novels of the early 20th century. One was "Red Star," the socialist utopia on Mars created by the Russian writer Alexander Bogdanov, a Bolshevik and intimate of Lenin. The other was "The Iron Heel," by Jack London, the American author best known for "The Call of the Wild." Whereas Bogdanov forsees the ultimate victory of the socialist and scientific-technical revolutions, London predicts global revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces ending up in an apocalyptic battle betwen the impoverished workers and the privileged minorities. Consequently, the two authors share a common socialist perspective, although Bogdanov writes a utopian novel and London creates a dystopia.
"The Iron Heel" was written in 1908 and remains one of the more prophetic novels of the 20th century. His track record with regards to a national secrety police agency, the rise of Fascism, the creation of attractive suburbs for the middle class while the unemployed and menials live in "ghettoes," is remarkedly better than that of Edward Belleamy's "Looking Backward," Aldoux Huxley's "Brave New World," or George Orwell's "1984," the novels that are usually judged by their prescience in terms of utopian literature.
The novel presents the story of the American revolutionary Earnest Everhard, as told by his wife Avis, who is actually the more effective revolutionary leader. London tells how the manuscript was unknown for seven centuries, to be discovered long after the final triumph of socialist democracy in the yar 419 B.O.M. Avis Everhard describes the struggles of the working masses against the oligarchy, and how they were ruthlessly suppressed, especially in the Chicago Commune that is the main setting for the action. There is a strong current of violence, with Black Hundreds wrecking the socialist presses,a bomb exploding in the House of Representatives, and revolutionaries being hunted down by the military arm of the government known as the Iron Heel. The Everhard Manuscript breaks off in the middle of a sentence, a footnote explaining that history does not know if the author escaped or was captured.
The story is somewhat atypical for London in that it does not represent the white supermacist and male dominant vision of the world we usually find in his novels. London's message is the blatant warning that if you allow the Revolution to be defeated, then the ruling class will "grind you revolutionists down under our heel, and we shall walk upon your faces." Ultimately "The Iron Heel" is a novel whose importance clearly outstrips its literary quality. The problem is that with the end of World War II and the defeat (essentially) of Fascism that London's novel was no longer of interest as the world was confronted with a new set of problems. Yet, London's dytopian novel is one of the works in that genre that deserves to be reconsidered more often
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, if not always a gripping, read, 6 Jun. 2010
By 
Sarah A. Brown (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
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I took this with me on holiday recently. I cannot conscientiously say that it's the ideal book for the beach, but it was certainly thought provoking. The introduction raised some interesting questions, pointing out that the book is admired by nationalists and racial supremacists as well as by those on the left. And it was the novel's rather problematic ideology which I found the most interesting aspect of `The Iron Heel'.

In some ways its concern with the lot of poor workers was of course fully sympathetic, chiming with similar discussions in, for example, Upton Sinclair's `The Jungle'. The measures taken to prevent dissent by the `oligarchy' also aroused sympathy - their persecution of characters such as the narrator's father, a man of great integrity, reminds one of similar actions carried out by Communist and Fascist regimes later in the twentieth century.

But the novel seems to promote a ruthless and inhumane approach to putting the world in order which became increasingly uncongenial - the narrator's attitude towards the underclass, in particular, seemed cold and manipulative rather than humanitarian. And although the Oligarchy, within the fiction of the novel, is sinister enough, I can see that its depiction might play well with those on the right who have a paranoid fear of government, resent the apparent hegemony of urban, middle class, professional types with liberal views, and assume that hidden conspiracies are at work everywhere. Yet it's an intriguing book which resonates with all sorts of historical events and movements, including some in our own day.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Increasingly relevant read for understanding the corporatocracy, 10 Jun. 2013
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I have read this a few times, and find that for every time I read it, its importance becomes clearer and clearer to me. It is almost prophetic in its account of the corporate take-over of the U.S and other nations, all falling under the boot of the Iron Heel. Writing as a dedicated socialist, London's book of course has a bias, however this not being a historical account of London's contemporary times, it matters little. However, what matters is the alarming accuracy of how the writer imagined capitalism would manifest itself as a dominant juggernaut of economic thinking, and the serious implications of this.

One reads 1984, Brave New World or perhaps We. However, all these are far surpassed by the father of dystopian novels, Jack London and his masterpiece, The Iron Heel. Please do read it, for the fun of it, or as a part of a wider political analysis.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The iron heel of oligarchy, 11 Nov. 2006
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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Jack London's story paints the dark days of pure capitalism where `children, six and seven years of age, working every night at twelve hours shift', where the people of the abyss live like beasts in great squalid labor-ghettos and where `my father lied, stole and did all sorts of dishonorable things to put bread in my mouth.'

In pure Marxist style, a tiny Plutocracy (seven powerful groups) has taken hold of all powers in the US. It has at its beck and call the police, the army, the courts, the schools and private militias. The press became `suppresssage'. Its policy is to print nothing that is a vital menace to the established and to mould public opinion.

The Church is also their mouthpiece: `the command to the Church was `Feed my lambs', but out of the dividends magnificent churches are built where your kind preaches pleasant platitudes to the sleek, full-bellied recipients of those dividends.' When one of its ministers speaks out for the poor, he is put in an asylum for being `insane'.

In order to keep control of the proletarians, the Plutocrats force a split in the unions between the strong unions in the monopoly corporations and the rest of weakly organized labor.

Another means of control is terrorism and `agents provocateurs' whose bloody attacks are foisted on the shoulders of their enemies.

The only opposition to the rule of the oligarchs consists of the `Brotherhood of Man', a socialist semi-clandestine organization.

A Marxian capitalistic endgame explodes with a bloody war between the few and the many ...

This forceful revolutionary book is brushed in an idealistic tone, with rather naïve black and white (the good and the bad) colors.

Unfortunately, it is partly still very topical. The struggle between right and left in the US became the global struggle between North and South. Terrorism, control of the media, the influence of education and religion, control of the courts are still red hot topics today.

This book is a real find. Not to be missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars life changing, 21 July 2011
This review is from: The Iron Heel (Paperback)
this is a book that can and has changed lives. after advice from a friend, mine was changed after reading the iron heel and lewis grassic gibbons scots quair. the sheer natural tones of the narrative alone made me realise that i was reading cheap junk when i read orwell. orwells books read as if they were written by a 10 year old, which is why they probably appeal to the semi literate.
iron heel gets into and stays in your consciousness, it becomes part of you and your thinking. this is what all great literature should do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 17 Nov. 2013
This review is from: The Iron Heel (Paperback)
A exquisite piece of literature, a complex and chaotic story made all the more addictive by a colourful set of characters and a gripping plot that sweeps you along with the fervent political ideologies of the author till you too cry for the upper echelons to be cast down in flame and ruin.

A gripping read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ., 12 April 2013
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This review is from: The Iron Heel (Kindle Edition)
Who wouldn't be delighted to find the public domain list of FREE classic literature. This is fantastic. All the titles I've always wanted to read and for free - this is my kind of kindle heaven. I love the way they arrive on your kindle, they're so quick, it's like magic. Thank you public domain!
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The Iron Heel ("Rebel Inc." Classics)
The Iron Heel ("Rebel Inc." Classics) by Jack London (Paperback - 15 Jun. 1999)
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