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The Iron Heel Paperback – 7 Apr 2014

2.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (7 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1497574617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1497574618
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 676,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Griffith London (born John Griffith Chaney) was an American author, journalist, and social activist who lived from 1876 to 1916. His works, all fiction, were always founded in some fact or idea which he then conveyed, making his books full of double meaning and offering deeper understanding for those able to see it. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My father loved Jack London. When I was a child, in his library, the little room under the stairs, there were faded copies of 'White Fang' and 'Call of the Wild' that had both seen better days. I wish Dad had got beyond the boy's own adventure output that made London famous; I think it would have helped to explain some things that troubled him throughout his life.

For 'The Iron Heel' is a fine socialist text but it is not just this. Certainly the book influenced George Orwell and a stream of thought that would eventually become 1984. A dystopian novel, a love story, a tale of courage and prescience and sacrifice and failure. The life and work of Ernest Everhard as recounted by his wife, Avis, but presented as history, her words scarred with asterisks that lead to footnotes added seven centuries in the future, in B.O.M. (Brotherhood of Man) time. The historian, Anthony Meredith, adds insight regarding the times in which Ernest and Avis lived but also explains the myriad of generations of change that separate him from them. It is a compelling format that gives the work dimension, adding to the tragedy of Ernest and Avis, that is also that of the masses.

The Iron Heel is a mighty boot that walks on the faces of the workers. It is the power of a small majority, the Oligarchy. It is a representation of the wealth of the few (the 1%?) while, by design, the masses are made to suffer in squalor. The middle classes are destroyed and vast corporations have their fingers in a sumptuous array of pies. Like many dystopian novels, it isn't far removed from the truth. Fascism or societal control or capitalism or whatever you want to call it is identified as something at first discreet, the thing that is spoken of in conspiracy theories and generally disbelieved. Then it is the all-pervading system that loops Man in chains.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was outraged. The book is completely unreadable. The print has been reduced to save paper and so the font is 5. This means that even though it is just possible to read the words, there are over twenty words on each line. if you look away for a second, you find it very difficult to relocate your place. Also because it has bee rescaled, the footnote appear randomly within a page. They are no longer footnotes, but midpage note.
An absolutely appalling waste of anyone's money.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback
I'm in my 30s and have no issues with my eyes but the font is so small, it is very hard to read. Unfortunately a waste of money,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8ee56dbc) out of 5 stars 98 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94048a14) out of 5 stars This Edition is Missing a Crucial Chapter! 20 Oct. 2010
By multiscan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This edition is incomplete. The full, original work is a frame-story, kind of like Bellamy's "Looking Backward". The editors chose to cut out London's all-important Foreward, which sets the "novel" up as an incomplete manuscript discovered (rather implausibly inside of an oak tree, if I recall correctly) centuries after its writing.

Buy the Lawrence Hill version, which is complete and has a good contemporary critical introduction.
52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ee54794) out of 5 stars Jack London's prophetic 1908 dystopian novel 26 Oct. 2003
By Lawrance Bernabo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In 1905 the troops of the Tsar crushed the Russian revolution of 1905. Although the uprising did force Nicholas II to establish a constitution 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 secret police agency, the rise of Fascism, the creation of attractive suburbs for the middle class while the unemployed and menials live in "ghettoes," is markedly 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 lauded and 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 supremacist 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.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e79e840) out of 5 stars The iron heel of oligarchy 11 Nov. 2006
By Luc REYNAERT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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 `suppressage'. 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.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ee53eac) out of 5 stars Visionary 23 Feb. 2010
By Tall Toad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This text is an interesting adventure for Jack London into futurism. Probably his only complete attempt at Science Fiction. He depicts the rise and struggles of Socialism against the Oligarchy in an eerily premonitory way. While this tale predates the Soviet and Chinese actions of the past century, it seems to not only predict them, it actually helps to explain them. I'm told that Jack, who was an avid Socialist for most of his life, actually resigned from the Party not long after finishing this work. In a way, he struggles to answer his own questions about the future of social systems here. After this work, he turns back to tales of adventure and finishes his days sailing the South Pacific.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96985be8) out of 5 stars a masterful work 12 May 2000
By kathybookgirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jack London gives a chillingly realistic tale of the rise of "The Iron Heel", which is a term for the capitalists who control some 75%-90% of the wealth of the world and use it to keep power. When Ernest and Avis Everhard try to lead a socialist revolution, The Iron Heel steps up and attempts to crush it. The Iron Heel mercylisly slaughters the proletariat and the socialists. While Eric Blair's (George Orwell) 1984 was a great warning and Zamyatin's We was frighteningly logical, London's The Iron Heel is unquestioningly the most realistic of the genre.
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