Read The Iron Heel by Jack London Luke Hartwell Online


The Iron Heel has been hailed by some critics as the greatest of all dystopian novels. Published in 1908, the novel is a prophetic warning of the dangers of capitalist excess. The Oligarchy, a monopoly trust, has gained control and is in the process of squeezing out and shutting down small to midsize businesses and making farmers subservient to their wishes. They are opposThe Iron Heel has been hailed by some critics as the greatest of all dystopian novels. Published in 1908, the novel is a prophetic warning of the dangers of capitalist excess. The Oligarchy, a monopoly trust, has gained control and is in the process of squeezing out and shutting down small to midsize businesses and making farmers subservient to their wishes. They are opposed by the Brotherhood of Man, a group that embraces London's idea of a socialist collective. London employs the ruse of having his manuscript not only written by someone else, Ernest Everhard, but discovered by a third party, Anthony Meredith, who offers commentary throughout. London finds time to praise Oscar Wilde, who was still regarded by most of the public as a demonic corruptor of youth, while providing a prophetic vision of the rise of fascism....

Title : The Iron Heel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781503120976
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Iron Heel Reviews

  • Lyn
    2019-05-04 07:38

    The Iron Heel by Jack London is Upton Sinclair meets Wolf Larson. Described by many as the first of the modern dystopian novels, this one takes a strongly socialist stance, clearly espousing this ideology in lengthy diatribes. While reading this work I frequently compared to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, but in contrast. Both novels ambitiously seek a prophetic tone, but both ultimately wind up as monological propaganda with straw man arguments propped up in opposition. The Iron Heel does have the good taste to not run over 1,000 pages. Another of London’s works, the short story The Mexican espouses London's feelings as well, deeply sympathetic to socialist causes and centers around romantic heroism of its champions. One aspect of the Iron Heel that was amazing, and truly prophetic was London’s uncanny ability to forecast power plays of government, especially the rise of Hitler’s Germany, some thirty years after the release of The Iron Heel. Social and political critics of modern day capitalism could also look to this 1908 publication to show how the rich get richer and labor unions have been bought out and find themselves underpowered to react.

  • Matt
    2019-05-20 04:26

    to-read-before-it-gets-bannedThis is an important book. It's so important that the editors of the German Wiktionary site decided to use a quote from the book for the entry IMPORTANT. I think I never used the phrase must read for a book in any one of my reviews. And I'm still not doing it here. But I'd answer YES! if you ask “Should I read this book?”Those of you who read other works by Jack London and think that this is some adventure story set in Alaska or on a ship at sea or something? Forget it. It's a Dystopian of pure breed: The everlasting struggle between good and evil. The good guys here are the ordinary people, i.e. us, and the evil one is the caste of oligarchs running the country along with their puppet show of politicians and the judicial branch, working in their favor.Avis Cunningham gets to know young Ernest Everhard in her father's house in 1912. Everhard is an educated member of the working class, a genuine socialist, and impresses the young woman with his knowledge of the conditions of inequality in their country. The two fall in love and eventually marry. Their battle is henceforth the class enemy, the oligarchs upper class, called the Iron Heel by Everhard. At the beginning of the 1930s it comes to the inevitable bloody revolt against the oppressors. The revolt fails. Everhard, like thousands of others, is executed. The fight, however, continues. The events of the turbulent period from 1912 until the Revolution in 1932 is written down by Avis Everhard in the so-called Everhard Manuscript and is the content of this novel.You might say that I spoiled the ending, however, all this information is readily available in the foreword, which is an important part of the novel, and must be read in any case (I know that some GR users like to skip forewords). The foreword and explanatory footnotes in the text have been written by a man, Anthony Meredith, 700 years later, when the manuscript was discovered. At that time (by the year 2600) the tyrannical Iron Heel is only history and we're in the era called “Brotherhood of Man”, a true utopia, an era the working class hero Everhard unfortunately could not live to see.A couple of things are remarkable about this novel: There's a strong female first person narrator in a book written by a man, which was quite unusual at the time the novel was written. The author makes no bones about his own political views as a socialist; he obviously didn't care much about readers being offended. I also find Jack London's foresight in this book amazing. He obviously learned a lot from his time in the slums of London (see The People of the Abyss). Unfortunately you have to say that the social structures have not changed decisively in the 100+ years since the publication. The oligarchic tyranny is more powerful than ever, politicians are no more for the people, and the oppression of the masses has become even more strongly. All that is missing is a revolution to make this novel become totally true.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Alex
    2019-05-23 09:32

    Jack London wrote a dystopia! Did you know that? I didn't! It is terrible.The first 75% is pure political screed. And not very well scrode, either; it's hysterically and ineptly scridden. Jack London was a socialist, and this book makes socialism look bad through its sheer incompetence. (By the way, that Lincoln quote didn't happen.) The fact that I happen to agree with the basic ideas here doesn't make the book any less boring.When the plot finally does kick in, it's...well, who cares what it is? Without discussion*, if it hasn't kicked in by the halfway mark, it's too late and it's a shite book.* Isn't that annoying, when I say "Without discussion"? It feels bossy and obnoxious, right? The very words make you want to argue, even if my point is perfectly agreeable. Well, London uses that phrase like ten times in this book.What I was going to say is, just when the plot is about to get going, 150 pages too late (no plot spoilers here but still, minor)... (view spoiler)[it ends, in the middle of a sentence. Literally in the middle of a sentence. The last of many irritating footnotes explains that the "manuscript" just cuts off here, and what a shame because we were just getting to the interesting part. That is a lie, though; this is a made-up book written by Jack London, which means that Jack London could have just written the interesting part, if he wanted to. He's certainly written interesting parts before, it's not like it's beyond him. Maybe he could have written one of the stories he sortof mentions in passing, like the 69-year-old grandma assassin. That could have been a cool story. But no! Instead, he did the opposite of that. Of all the possible parts of this book, he wrote the least interesting one. (hide spoiler)]Iron Heel feels like a political pamphlet, with the outline for an interesting novel jotted in the margins. Without discussion, the book London didn't write would have been better than the one he did.

  • James Barker
    2019-05-04 09:39

    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.

  • Semih Eker
    2019-05-24 03:36

    Eser kadar önsöz'ü de güzel olan eserlerden birisini bitirdim.İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları'ndan okudum, gerçekten önsöz ve sayfaların altındaki açıklamalar mükemmel, esere bambaşka bir tat katıyor. İşin garibi eser aslında bir bilimkurgu(distopya) ama açıklamalar ile birlikte tarihten bir kesit okuyormuş tadı alıyorsunuz. Hatta 2000'li tarihleri görünce zihnimde gerçek ile distopyanın iç içe girdiği bölümler oldu :)Eserin konusun kapitalizmin toplum üzerindeki etkisi ve sosyalizm ile savaşı olduğunu bilmeyenleri dövüyorlarmış :)Tarihsel bir dil ile sevgili London, Avis Everhard 'ın gözünden, sosyalizmin ve onun en önde giden savaşçılarından Avis Everhard'ın eşi olan Ernest Everhard çok güzel anlatmış.Bazı noktalarda bence gerçek dışı tepkiler vardı(özellikle Ernest konuşurken insanların verdiği tepkiler oldukça hafifti bana göre) ama o kadar kusur kadı kızında da olur diyerek eseri tavsiye ediyorum...

  • Cwn_annwn_13
    2019-05-11 09:36

    In the Iron Heel London lays out something right in step with reality, past present and almost certainly the future. Jack London was a guy that had hobnobbed and interacted with the well to do (he was even a member of Bohemian Grove) but he had also seen the hard side of life, working on fishing boats and in various brutal exploitive labor jobs, doing time in jail, etc. So he had an insight that not many people have. In this work he really lays out through fictional characters how many segments of society that claim to represent the downtrodden are bought and owned by the exploitive "oligarchs", especially the Christian church, the fantasy world of academia, and the crooked labor unions who often sell out the workers. Also your hypocritical well to do armchair liberals who like to pat themselves on the back for any charitable deed, but also (often unwittingly) have blood on their hands and almost always embrace and support the system when they feel their comfortable lifestyle may be threatened or they may have to make a stand. He also shows how the big Capitalists destroy small and mid level business operators, how they run smear campaigns through the media against anybody within the system that speaks out against them, and the out and out brutality that they use against people that resist them. Its pretty easy to find multitudes of real examples of all these things, whether 100 years ago or in the here and now. As far as how the revolutionary struggle is portrayed in The Iron Heel there are elements to it that I could see going down if a underground movement to topple the current oligarchs ever occured but there are also elements that I couldn't see working or even happening in a million years. Besides that at this point in time I don't think there are enough people out there with the fighting spirit or intelligence to see how they are being screwed over by the system for any mass movement of resistance. Just so long as people can stuff their face with junk food, watch tv, play video games, take mind control drugs like prozac, etc, the new world order doesn't have much to worry about. One thing London doesn't do well in The Iron Heel is differentiate between the Oligarch controlled Orwellian branch of international socialism and national, localized or dare I say it, racial socialism, which the later three were much more what London was in tune to, not the globalist type of Fabian Socialism that people like H.G Wells promoted.

  • A.J. Howard
    2019-05-19 03:32

    The Iron Heel is said to have been a great influence on later dystopian fiction, but London's book is completely lacking the subtlety and skill of Orwell, Huxley, or Burgess. Where the latter authors tell carefully crafted fables, London relies on heavy handed, exhausting, and apparently plagiarized polemics. Although they are almost ideological antonyms, this book is much more akin to Rand's Atlas Shrugged than Orwell's 1984. At least Rand's tome managed to engage the reader before embarking on endless and monotone pontifications. London doesn't bother here. The first hundred pages of this novels are exclusively avenues for London's sermonizing. London also writes about his hero in the same rapturous, heavy breathed way that Rand does, like a thirteen year old girl writing bad Twilight fan fiction.The Iron Heel is structured as a manuscript written by a soon to be martyred heroine about her recently martyred husband. The 'manuscript' describes events taking place between 1912 and 1932 and is annotated by an editor writing several hundred years in the future. This whole premise is laid out in an introduction by the 'editor,' introducing the reader to a brutal oligarchy which came to power during the events of the book and had been only recently overthrown by a Socialist Brotherhood. I give London credit for creating an innovative and intriguing structure that gives the book a sense of momentum from the start. Unfortunately, London proceeds to squander this momentum by boring the bejesus out of the reader with several polemics. The first one serves to introduce the reader to London's hero, his views, the issues of the day, etc. But then London has his character deliver another one, and another one, and another one. It would be one thing if these speeches and dialogues were compelling or well-crafted. They are not. Instead, they are tedious, unvaried and repetitive. Interspersed with this are 'annotations' provided by the editor of the future, which manage to be both obnoxious and cringe-worthy. Now, I must be honest. I did not finish this book. I was intrigued by the introduction, but was beginning to be wary by the first chapters. I read several more chapters and quickly found myself ringing the one star alarm. I decided to give it another try the next day, but today my reaction was no better. I read around half of this thing and I was dreading the second half. Looking at the wikipedia summary, apparently London becomes less devoted to speechifying and starts to describe the onset of the oligarchy, the "Iron Heel." The wiki page provides a timeline, and there appears to be quite a bit of actions. But I read half of this thing, and there was absolutely no plot movement. The half I read convinced me that I wasn't missing much by skipping the second half and reading a wikipedia summary. London is hardly a great writer of prose, and I hardly trust him to instill a sense of nuance into his plot. What I expect follows is a dry, heavy handed, and dull recitation of events. I should be clear that I don't hate this book for London's politics.This is the first book since Atlas Shrugged that I've abandoned permanently before completing, but I feel no shame in doing so. The Iron Heel may be an influential work, but it is better remembered for being influential than for its own merits. On it's own merits, it can only be considered a poorly-written piece of polemical propaganda.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-05-18 08:22

    This book illustrates that just because you like some of a writers work it doesn't mean you'll like it all. What we have here is an attempt at selling an ideology inside a sort of doomed romance story...and take that as I wrote it. Not only is the romance doomed, so is the story. Any story in this volume (which I skimmed as an attempt to read London's tortured attempt to make universal socialism logical is painful at best) Any story in this book (and there isn't much) is completely overwhelmed by London's preachy attempt to sell us on Marxist style socialism. He sees it as a noble struggle that will be attacked by the (by now familiar) evil capitalist industrial complex. Oddly in truth, socialism has come so far that it could be argued that shoes are on exactly the opposite feet than those London (and of course others picture).It never fails to amaze me when people use the freedoms guaranteed by our form of government to espouse a form of government that would deny them that freedom. London, a writer of the outdoors and wildlife was an outspoken socialist. A lot of it had to do with some of the failings in his own life though while he was trying to run a 1,000 acre ranch where he built an $80,000 mansion, it was destroyed by fire before he could move in. This book is (in my opinion) London's poorest work and is purely an attempt at political propaganda. It is I suppose from it's point of view a science fiction or fantasy as it's fictional pre-history...for us it sort of alternate history though it's supposed to be from the point of view of around 2600 AD (or 419 BOM, Brotherhood Of Man). The attempt at Avis's and Ernest's love story is a failure and in my case never touched my interest. Look, I don't care for the book, if you do that's fine. I suspect that those who do like it will because it espouses a point of view they like and want to see espoused, not because of it's story or the writing. London is capable of fine writing and I like some of his work. This book however puts me in mind of one of my favorite quotes: "A Communist is someone who has read Anti-communist is someone who understands Marx."Sadly one star.

  • Emre
    2019-04-28 03:37

    4.5' Kim ki rekabetçidir, yok olacaktır.' sf:122' Servetten daha büyük bir güç daha vardır. Daha güçlüdür çünkü kimse onu sizden alamaz. Bizim gücümüz, proletaryanın gücü kaslarımızdadır, oyları veren ellerimizdedir, tetiği çeken parmaklarımızdadır. Kimse bunu bizden alamaz. Asıl kuvvet budur işte, hayatın kuvvetidir, servetten de güçlü olan ve zenginliğin elimizden alamayacağı kuvvettir.' sf:142

  • Rıdvan
    2019-05-23 04:25

    Bir devrim kitabı. Devrim for beginners ya da Devrim for nondevrimers diyebiliriz.Tabi devrim için gerekli olan tek şey, distopya.Gerçek dünyada devrim gerçekleşemeyeceğine gore, London gitmiş bir distopya yaratmış ve devrimini orada gerçekleştirmiş.Kitabı sevgili Avis Everhead 'in ağzından dinliyoruz. Avis, Ernest'in eşi.Ernest ise Amerika'da ki önemli solculardan, devrimcilerden. Avis bize kocasını ve yaşadıklarını anlatıyor.Avis, Ernest 'le tanışmadan once dünyadan habersiz bir aristocrat kızıydı. Yıl o zamanlar 1900'lerin başı. Dünya da sanayi devrimi gerçekleşmiş, makineler her yerde. Çok fazla işsiz var ve üstelik işsiz olmak nerdeyse işli olmakla aynı, çünkü iş bulabilecek kadar şanslı(!) olanlar da diğerleri gibi sürünüyor. Açlıktan ölmeseler bile makinaların arasında ölüyorlar. (Fakirler ölsün Porsche'den selamlar:))Ernest ise bu duruma tüm gücüyle baş kaldıranlardan. Önüne gelen herkese tek tek, tane tane durumun vahametini anlatyor ve bu yolla devrime çok fazla insan kazandırıyor. Tabi arada Avis'i de böylece tavlamış oluyor.:)Şimdi bu noktada London bize biraz "kapitalizmden" bahsediyor. (Anamalcılık) Şöyle;İş veren ortaya para koyar, işçi ise emeğini. Şirket kurulur ve çalışır. Böylece bir birikim oluşmaya başlar. Oluşan bu birikimin yarısını emekçi alır, kalan yarısını ise işveren.(Yarı yarıya değildir ya aslında hadi öyle olsun diyelim.) Emekçi kazandığı bu parayı hemen harcar. Zira hayatını başka şekilde idame ettiremez. Ancak işveren bu parayı harcamaz. İstesede harcayamaz. Napacak o kadar parayı? Oturup yemesi mümkün değil. Gidicek başkalarına borç verecek. sonra kazandıkça başkalarına borç verecek. Sonra da başkalarına. Ortada çok fazla para var ve bu para başkalarını köleleştirmek için kullanılıyor. Üstelik biraz para kazanan hemen tekelleşiyor ve ilk iş olarak sektörün küçük balıklarını yok etmeye başlıyor. Bu gidişe bir dur demek lazım. Kitabın son bölümünde ise tüm dünya karışıyor. Başta Chicago olmak üzere müthiş bir devrim kopuyor. Bütün dünyada işçi ayaklanmaları başlıyor. Bir dünya savaşı bu. Ama iç savaş. Irk, millet yok. Oligarklar ve işçiler var. Binlerce insan ölüyor. Ortalık kan gölüne dönüyor. Kim kazanıyor? Kitap okumak lazım.

  • Alfred Searls
    2019-05-04 11:34

    Now, before we go on, here’s a suggestion; check your personal political views in at the door. In ‘The Iron Heel’ Jack London openly displays his early twentieth century socialist leanings but the book itself is much more than the sum of its political and economic parts. Don’t believe me? Well try this for size - “Under the oligarchs will flourish, not a priest class, but an artist class.”A bold assertion I think you’ll agree, and one which few writers have ever chosen to ascribe to an imaginary fascist government. But then up until Jack London penned this much neglected 1908 classic there were precious few fiction writers bringing together the great economic and social themes that would so disastrously dominate the twentieth century.‘The Iron Heel’ is a pioneer in the dystopian genre and is credited with influencing Orwell when he came to write his great masterpiece 1984. Indeed by the time you’ve finished reading it you’ll be seeing its influence everywhere - from H.G. Wells’ ‘The Shape of Things to come’ (1933) to Margaret Atwood’s superb dystopian creation ‘The Handmaids Tale’ (1985).The novel purports to be the lost manuscript of one Avis Evehard, wife to a socialist revolutionary called Ernest Evehard. The manuscript itself has been lost to the world for several centuries, and upon its rediscovery in a more enlightened era it has been edited, abridged and heavily annotated by an academic called Anthony Meredith (see what I mean about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’?)It chronicles the rise of an all-powerful Oligarchy of robber barons in America, who in the first few decades of the twentieth century gradually consolidate their economic and political hold over the country. The middle classes are squeezed into a new form of economic serfdom and the agricultural population into an altogether older form. Meanwhile the workers are set up to fight against one another and brutally repressed if they challenge the new order. But challenge they do, through both the ballot box and the organisation of labour. Revolution breaks out and the Oligarchs resolve to ruthlessly crush all resistance to their rule, both foreign and domestic. The brutal nature of this repression leads to their dictatorship being characterised as ‘The Iron Heel’.Despite this being London’s great hymn to the solidarity of international labour he manages to evoke empathy in the reader; you find yourself caring about what happens to the people in the novel, even if you might not always agree with their individual or collective viewpoints. And despite the gender reversal (how many other male writers were writing from a female perspective at this time?) and the unashamed use of the character to propagate a Marxist dialectic, the voice of Avis is oddly authentic. Yes it’s a mixture of romanticism, dogma and hypocrisy but isn’t that precisely how a daughter of privilege, who has fallen in love with both the party and the strongman of the party, would sound?In its description of modern political repression ‘The Iron Heel’ is eerily prescient in ways London himself could not have foreseen and probably wouldn’t have approved off. Many of the tactics used by the imaginary fascist government would go on to be used far more effectively in real life by the dictatorships of the left; tactics such as the imprisonment of intellectual dissidents in mental hospitals.It is a great irony that London’s warning about the dangers of monopoly capitalism, and the subsequent decent into a repressive corporate state, were successfully tackled in the decades following the publication of his cautionary tale, by successive democratically elected governments. However, if he were still with us the rise and rise of the today’s global corporate giants and the challenge their power presents to the rights of the individual, would I believe, have Jack penning a new warning to us all. Now … don’t forget to collect your political views at the door before you go, and enjoy the book.

  • Thom Swennes
    2019-05-20 03:12

    Revolutionary! I have read some of Jack London’s works but The Iron Heel came as a complete surprise. Published in 1908, it proved both intuitive and fatalistic. Written before the World War I and the Russian Revolution, it suggested their passing. The book is written as a manuscript written around the start of World War I and found hundreds of years later. The document describes the coming revolution and it inevitability. The industrial revolution and capitalism has run amuck and the oppressed masses are forced to revolt. It rationally illustrates the initial cruelties and injustices of a preliminary capitalistic system but sells the American constitutional system short. Although I don’t agree with some of the views and conclusions I do feel the Constitution should protect anyone believing in them. The socialist views expressed would have had Jack London tarred and feathered (at the very least) if it would have appeared in the post-World War II McCarthy Era (one of the blackest times in U.S. history). As I read this book, visions of the multitudes of Twentieth Century atrocities came vividly to mind. The fact that it was written before most of them were committed makes them all the more shocking. The book could be compared to George Orwell’s 1984 but I found it even more plausible and horrifying. My only question is why this controversial book isn’t more widely known and read. I would recommend it to every thinking and feeling person with a true passion for literature and the way the world was and what (God forbid) could have been.

  • marco_izner
    2019-05-08 09:22

    [Prima e dopo la Rivoluzione]Ci sono talmente tante cose da dire su questo libro che non saprei nemmeno da dove cominciare.Mi metterò a fare un commento autobiografico come sono quasi sempre solito fare, ché tanto il buon Jack non se la prenderà, visto che la sua opera, come quella di tanti altri grandi autori, è in buonissima parte autobiografica; e ne aveva ben donde, sia chiaro: non raccontare una vita come la sua sarebbe stato un affronto alla vita stessa. Ma veniamo al “Tallone di Ferro”, anzi a “The Iron Heel”, che ho letto in inglese e dunque un po' devo vantarmene. Ci ho messo più del normale a finirlo e per lo stesso motivo credo di aver impiegato un tempo ancor maggiore per rielaborarlo; non tanto perché ho avuto modo di apprezzare in tutto il suo splendore la mitica prosa londoniana, che ho amato in traduzione e quindi figuriamoci se non l'ho adorata in lingua madre, maremma cane, quanto perché l'ho trovato un romanzo assai denso e stratificato; soprattutto, significativo all’interno del corpus dello scrittore americano, nonché importante tassello per il filone distopico-politico, se proprio vogliamo piazzarlo lì, come eccellente antesignano della social sci-fi. Per mezzo dell'espediente del manoscritto ritrovato - in questo caso in un futuro abbastanza lontano -, classicissimo ma che qui calza alla perfezione, come il cacio con le pere, leggiamo il diario di Avis, ragazza di famiglia benestante che s’innamora del rivoluzionario socialista Ernest, lavoratore e uomo della strada ma anche filosofo, persona istruita e dalla singolare eloquenza.L’effetto che l’uomo ha su di lei è un po’ lo stesso che Martin Eden ha sulla borghesissima Ruth, solo che qui il punto di vista è quello della donna, anzi è proprio lei la narratrice, mentre nel capolavoro di London il narratore esterno faceva il bello e il cattivo tempo. Inoltre, qui sarà lei a protendersi verso la sua sfera, non viceversa.Ernest, assieme a lei vero protagonista del racconto, è infatti un vero trascinatore, per il quale la ragazza lascerà la sua condizione agiata, come farà prima di lei il padre, perseguito per le sue posizioni politiche.Avis sposerà Ernest, e con lui abbraccerà la causa socialista, che porterà in breve alla Rivoluzione. È chiaro che il riferimento principe di London sia il nascente Partito Socialista statunitense, esperienza alla quale prese parte.Non mi competono qui discorsi sullo schieramento politico dell’autore, abbastanza evidente sia a una lettura rapida della sua vicenda personale sia a una conoscenza anche parziale dei suoi libri: m’interessa più che altro rimarcare quanto il suo sguardo e la finzione letteraria lo abbiano portato lontano.Il romanzo è del 1908, la Rivoluzione d’ottobre è del 1917: basti questo dato per spiegare quanto ci abbia visto lungo col Tallone. Ma non è solo questo, sono gli esiti e il rovesciamento della Rivoluzione stessa qui descritti a essere a loro modo stupefacenti, e non solo funzionali da un punto di vista narrativo.Il trionfo della Plutocrazia proietta The Iron Heel nell’empireo della narrativa fantapolitica, e nel contempo designa Jack London quale autentico visionario, fine conoscitore dei meccanismi bassi ed alti delle dinamiche socio-politico-culturali, nonché, cosa non secondaria, abile indagatore dell’animo umano. Cosa vuol dire dunque l’autore di Zanna Bianca al lettore?Signori miei... no, meglio di no.Ragazzi, state attenti ché le rivoluzioni son cosa buona e giusta, ebbene sì, ma bisogna maneggiarle con cura, specie quando le cose si fanno complicate, ché è lì che il tallone di ferro comincia a giocar duro, per la madonna.E l’essere umano non è poi tutto ‘sto granché: non sono tutti degli Ernest Everhard, eh; non esistono solo il bianco e il nero, c’è anche il grigio. Ci sarebbe pure il rosso che, va be’, stringi stringi in questo mondo di ladri e in questo mondo di eroi il rosso non lo vuole nessuno, e quando arriva c’è sempre uno che se ne approfitta e butta tutto all'aria. Poi ecco, c’è chi preferisce il nero, il quale ciclicamente si ripropone; la puzza di merda si fa pesa e tetra, quindi c’è da tapparsi il naso e votarsi all’azzurrino tenue tenue, che sta un po’ di qua ma pure di là: ci attacchiamo al ca... al grigio, diciamo così!Ma basta così, mi sto infrenando.Leggetelo: è bello.

  • Thomas Dolan
    2019-05-22 09:15

    My respect for London has just been destroyed, the hammers of his long, boring, and inaccurate arguments slowly beat his glorified reputation in my eyes to nothing more that Sadaam Hussein's Babylon. Basically,this book is London's attempt to convert you to his Socialist viewpoint, with something about a revolution and an awful, horribly half-baked love story. I'd finished this book about two days ago, and all I remember are the long, drawn out, "arguments", that as anyone who has read this book know, consume much of the entire first half. These arguments should not really be termed as arguments, for no character is permitted to question, or even say more than ten words to dispute London's puppet (Ernest Everhard)from espousing Socialist propaganda and denouncing capitalism as a cruel, unjust system that is wholly illogical.The biggest problem I've had with this book is that its argument against capitalism is FLAWED. In Ernest Everhard's interminable arguments, he throws away his point in the first paragraph by assuming that everything will always stay the same, everywehere, forever. Everything will be exactly as it was in 1905 as it will be in 2025. Same business, no new inventions. That is essentially the framework London needs in which to prove capitalism is illogical. For example, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of buggy manufacturers. Then Mercedes and Benz figure out the car, and all the buggy manufacturers either realize they're screwed and give up, or decide to start making cars. Then people buy cars, buggy manufacturers go iut of business, and their is no "unconsumable surplus."Another thing London assumes is that no one is capable of saving money. With his shoe factory example, London posits that with their wages, the factory workers can only buy back 50% of what they made. And the reader asks, what if the workers don't need shoes? What if they start saving for, say, a new coat? or their next rent payment? Maybe they'll invest their money in a new business. But in order for london's numerous scenarios to work, people must ALWAYS spend 100% of their wages. But most importantly, this is not one of London's best works, a fact on which most must agree. Of the books penned by London I have read, this has got to be the worst. It simply was not, in my opinion, well written, especially the bits where he lets Avis Everhard narrate.So, from this review I draw one conclusion about the author we've come to love for his action stories and descriptive power: He should've stuck to the Yukon.

  • B-MO
    2019-05-03 04:28

    Wow...Wow....OK, ok....First off...this is not your regular Jack London stuff, hell I didn't even know he was a socialist till reading this. This is a dystopian novel, an odd book, supposedly a manuscript dug up around the year 2700, this manuscript chronicles events that take place in the early 20th century as capitalism develops into a sort of oligarchy. The reader is given footnotes by a historian from 2700 who is trying to explain the strangeness of some of our history to his contemporaries living in an enlightened socialist world. The dialog looks similar to that of people today who would look back at the brutality of the past for what it was, i.e. how most people of today speak about Slavery and are even somewhat confused by the possibility of its former existence.What I found most striking in this novel were the predictions which London makes about the future of America (and the world) under capitalism. Being written in 1905 he predicts the creation of the FBI, WW1, J Edgar Hoover, Big labor sellouts, and the creation of early socialist states that would not be able to survive and would be forced to revert to capitalism, despite their eventual turning back to socialism with the rest of the world. (ok, so this last part might not have happened yet, but that doesn't mean that it wont, VIVA REVOLUTION)...One thing he didn't predict (no one is timeless) was the woman's liberation movement....sure he gives woman more important skills then many authors of the time, the 'author' is even a lady, but she is writing about her husband the 'actor', the leader...So this makes me want to go back and investigate some of Jack London's other work. I just found a quote here on goodreads that is very similar to my favorite Kerouac quote (roman candles exploding quote)...makes me wonder about London's influence on Kerouac...London's Quote---->"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."Kerouacs Quote ---->"yes, the only people for me, too are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."

  • Chris Dietzel
    2019-04-26 09:39

    Take the journal style of Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale', the social outrage found in Orwell's nonfiction writing, and Ayn Rand's use of long-running dialogue to get across political ideology and you have 'The Iron Heel.' First published in 1907, it's heard to imagine this book wasn't influential to each of those authors. It's also hard to believe I didn't even know about the book until another GR member referred me to it. The Oligarchy in 'The Iron Heel' aims to crush its citizens, just as Oceania does in '1984', except instead of using violence, they crush everyone via financial means. The basis of this dystopian is that a few rich men use their wealth to control every aspect of society, which is frighteningly realistic to today's world. And that's probably why this book has fallen by the wayside. It is simply too real and too plausible for most people to enjoy. Whereas books like '1984' are easy to digest because of their science fiction element, this book has no science fiction at all, mentions real people and places, etc., forcing the reader to see just how true-to-life this dystopian could be. I loved everything about this book except the footnotes (if you don't read them you feel like you're missing something, but if you do read them they bring the story to a crashing halt). After reading this, you see that the often used term "Orwellian government" could easily be replaced by "Londonian government."

  • Jon-Erik
    2019-05-06 06:32

    George Orwell commented that the prophecies of this book turned out to be more true than either The Shape of Things To Come or Brave New World. He was correct. It was also more prophetic than 1984. In the end, 1984 is a reduction of philosophical ideas into a manual of power. Even if Oceania never exists, it will always be, like a Platonic idea, out there as a model for a way to run the world.The Iron Heel, on the other hand, could almost have been written in 2007 instead of 1907. As a political work, it is wonderful and insightful. As a novel, it lacks some literary elements that would have made it a classic. There is little, if any, depth to any of the characters. Events don't seem to progress towards the resolution of a conflict; they just unfold. Because of this it reads more like a book of the prophets or an old-time history book than a novel.But no book is an island. Read this book because you can see the seeds of ideas that made 1984 the most important book of the 20th century, if not for its acerbic wit taking down the pigs. In the end, it seems like Orwell took the ideas of this book, updated it for the post-WWII period, and applied enough literary style to make it a more pleasant read.

  • Brian
    2019-05-04 09:20

    It is not difficult to imagine why this work does not share the same recognition as White Fang or The Call of the Wild. London, through the character of Ernest Everhard, makes no apologies for his relentlessly honest assessment of contemporary capitalism and the society it is producing. In the story, the "Iron Heel" of the title is a title commonly applied to the capitalist "Oligarchy" that rises out of the numerous contradictions in capitalist society that were so starkly visible in the early twentieth-century---and, in a number of instances, appear to have once again resurfaced in the twenty-first. London tells the story of a socialist uprising that is ultimately crushed by the fearsome Iron Heel from the vantage point of Avis Everhard, a revolutionist recruited from the intelligentsia by her husband and lover, Ernest Everhard. Through a creative literary device, London frames the narrative as an ancient manuscript, discovered sometime in the twenty-seventh century---four centuries after a global revolution has brought the world together in a universal "Brotherhood of Man"---and the footnotes inserted by these twenty-seventh-century scholars allow London to reinforce the message of his narrative with actual events and add a number of frequently humorous commentaries on capitalist society.Many have described The Iron Heel as a prescient account of the rise of fascism, and the narrative does indeed foretell many of its features. Fascism's demise in the Second World War, however, has done little to precludes the contemporary rise of an "Oligarchy" similar to that described in London's story, particularly under the world's current circumstances. While it certainly has not taken the form of the feared and ruthless "Iron Heel," many of the world's prison inmates, poor and working poor, immigrants, and "suspected terrorists," could identify a number of common features in the "Iron Heel" and the contemporary "security state." Just as the fictional revolution in London's narrative takes four centuries to reach fruition, so to may its real-world counterpart still be long in coming. That some form of revolt will eventually arise, however, is a virtual certainty.

  • Atticus06
    2019-04-24 07:37

    «Ovunque esista una classe dominante, gran parte della morale pubblica ha origine dai suoi interessi e dal suo senso classista di superiorità».In uno dei racconti di Tu, sanguinosa infanzia di Michele Mari, Conrad dice a Jack London: "lo stile, benedetto ragazzo, lo stile.Leggendo i libri di London in italiano ovviamente è impossibile giudicare "lo stile", influenzato com'è dal traduttore, ma se c'è una cosa che mi affascina sempre è la grande versatilità di quest'uomo. Riesce a raccontare storie di ogni tipo facendotele vivere come fossero reali. Più volte infatti ho dovuto ricordare che questo è un romanzo e non un saggio. Anche se, come sanno gli estimatori di London, in tutti i suoi romanzi ci sono elementi autobiografici.Difficile anche commentarlo senza parlare di politica e ideali.Il libro è un flusso di monologhi per la maggior parte della prima metà. Monologhi che ricordano quelli di altri personaggi di London sugli ideali socialisti. Belli, magari non sempre condivisibili in pieno ma efficaci.Lui dice che questo è un omaggio a Marx.Nel bel saggio introduttivo di Mario Picchi si spiega come London credesse in un socialismo romantico e ci credesse soprattutto nei periodi bui, quando era depresso salvo poi comportarsi e pensare in tutt'altro modo quando era lucido.Viene dipinto come razzista (cosa abbastanza comune a quell'epoca) e seguace dell'evoluzionismo, convinto che il più forte avrebbe prevalso sul più debole.Insomma, sembrava di facile preda degli entusiasmi del momento."È il modo sapiente che fa grande e definitiva l’opera di Jack London, uno scrittore che ben conosce il duplice binario della riflessione critica e dell’invenzione, ed è in grado positivamente di reperire il punto d’incontro, il referente, fra i due momenti che lo coinvolgono."Questo giusto per capire come leggere questo libro, almeno per me.Più che una distopia sembra un saggio storico, giusto proseguo di quel "Popolo degli abissi" che in seguito ispirò sullo stesso tema un altro scrittore importante: George Orwell, con il suo Senza un soldo a Parigi e Londra.Considerando che Il tallone di ferro è stato scritto nel 1908 vengono i brividi per alcune "predizioni" piuttosto realistiche su come sono andate le cose in molti paesi.Nella seconda parte si fa più movimentato e vengono raccontate le azioni e le lotte rendendo il libro più avvincente, con una parte, "La comune di Chicago", letteralmente densa e inquietante.La struttura del romanzo, scritto come se si fosse trovato un diario della moglie del protagonista dopo sette secoli, viene corredata di un apparato di note degne di David Foster Wallace dove, a partire dalla "falsa introduzione", il narratore ci spiega quello che nel diario è sottointeso come le informazioni sul periodo storico e i comportamenti civili, la fine che hanno fatto alcuni personaggi, informazioni e spiegazioni varie.Ecco perché, per le cose raccontate e per questo espediente narrativo, il tutto, a volte, sembra reale.«Io non credo alle fiamme e allo zolfo dell’inferno; ma in momenti come questo rimpiango la mia miscredenza. No, in momenti come questo io quasi ci credo. Deve esistere per forza un inferno, perché in nessun altro posto voi potrete ricevere una punizione adeguata ai vostri crimini. Fino a quando esisterà gente come voi, l’inferno sarà un’esigenza essenziale del cosmo».

  • Jim
    2019-05-17 07:14

    My old 1970ish paperback has an introduction by Howard Zinn that's very well done. My only prior reading of Zinn was his A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn. I don't care for him too much as a historian due to his bias, but he is readable. He seems to like "Iron Heel" a lot, too.My first impression was a weird one. It kind of reminds me of Atlas Shrugged for some reason. I don't think London & Rand could be further apart politically, though. Every comparison I make just proves out the differences, yet I still have the impression. The story didn't do a lot for me. I don't care for the style or anything else about it. Moving on.

  • Esma Tezgi
    2019-05-03 03:13

    Demir Ökçe, kurgusuyla, karakteri ile ve anlatmak istedikleriyle oldukça güzel ve insanı doyuran bir kitaptı. Oku-geç roman olarak okursanız sevme ihtimalinizin oldukça düşük olduğunu düşünüyorum, yazarın anlatmak istediğine kulak vererek ve düşünerek okursanız hem seveceğiniz hem de size bir şeyler katabilecek nitelikte bir roman.Ayrıntılı yorum için;

  • Jon
    2019-05-11 03:35

    Dystopian, or very dated alternate history, which drowned me in Marxism and the evils of capitalism as viewed through the lens of the very early 20th century. My perspective, a century later, shows many of these ills have been legislatively remedied. Not much of a story or plot, no real character growth; mostly essay or lecture on socialism, topped off with stomping feet, neo-terrorism and the beginnings of a non-nuclear Cold War.

  • wally
    2019-05-03 05:35

    "at first, this earth, a stage so gloomed with woe you almost sicken at the shifting of the scenes. and yet be patient. our playwright may show in some fifth act what this wild drama means."contentsforward1 my eagle2 challenges3 johnson's arm4 slaves of the machine5 the philomaths6 adumbrations7 the bishop's vision8 the machine breakers9 the mathematics of a dream10 the vortex11 the great adventure12 the bishop13 the general strike14 the beginning of the end15 last days16 the end17 the scarlet livery18 in the shadow of sonoma19 transformation20 the last oligarch21 the roaring abysmal beast22 the chicago commune23 the people of the abyss24 nightmare25 the terroriststhe iron heel/forwardthis forward is written by anthony meredith, at? ardis, november 27, 419 b.o.m. first sentence: it cannot be said that the everhard manuscript is an important historical document. seven centuries have passed since avis everhard completed the manuscript...the time period between 1912-1932. the manuscript is about avis's husband ernest who 'devoted his life to the revolution. everhard was one of the 1st to use the term 'iron heel' to describe the oligarchy...the rise of the oligarchy will always remain a cause of secret wonder to the historian and philosopher.the manuscript was completed during the last days of preparation for the 2nd revolt (there is mention of a 3rd, 4th, 5th and so on)...avis had written the manuscript to glorify her husband...and when the revolt was failing, 'she hid the manuscript in the hollow oak at wake robin lodge,' a small bungalow in the sonoma hills of california. avis it is believed was executed.chapter 1, my eaglethis is the beginning of the 1st person account of avis everhard, the wife of ernest. there are asterisks that are editorial commentary by persons unknown in chapter one, unless it be anthony meredith, who wrote the forward. avis describes the quiet before the storm. ernest her husband is dead. she expects the labor of the world to rise. as she writes, avis says that it has been two months since 'he laid down his life'. they met february, 1912, at the family home in berkeley. it was 'preacher's night' at their house, as her father called it, and ernest was out of place. avis's father, john cunningham, was a professor at the state university at berkeley, physics...(sir oliver lodge)avis describes a prize-fighter man in ernest, while she was a product her environment, class instincts...ernest is contrasted to bishop orehouse, christ-like in appearance and goodness. ernest is bold. jesus was, as well, calling the leaders of day a den of vipers. etc and so forth.ernest was a superman, a blond beast such as nietzsche described. this is a hoot, hey, when was this published? 1907?the ministers talk of the working class and its relation to the church, etc. ernest listens. does not talk. bold? he is asked for an opinion...dr hammerfield encourages him. so, ernest tells them they know nothing about the working class. 'you are anarchists in the realm of thought.' 'you can prove everything and nothing.' 'each of you goes into his own consciousness to explain himself and the universe.'chapter 2 challengesin this chapter the reader learns that avis is unmarried and twenty-four. she likes ernest. telling of her father happening upon ernest addressing a crowd from a soapbox, inviting him to the house, as the father had become fired w/a passion to redress wrong. (padgett powell has a great line in mrs. hollingsworth's men about this kind of is one of my favorite quotes) ernest is at work on a book, philosophy and revolution.the challenges are to the bishop and to avis...ernest blames the church for enabling capitalism, for being blind to what happens to the flock, feels it should protest wrongs. ernest will show the bishop, will take him on a journey through hell, and the bishop says he will protest and ernest says he will be discharged (fired, let go).the challenge to avis is to give up money invested in sierra mills...a place that has caused harm, the example of mr jackson who lost an arm etc. ernest says colonel ingram, a lawyer for the mills, etc etc...avis believes there is more to the affair etc...they will seechapter 3 jackson's armjackson's story of the accident...,i>i'm willin' to bet that more accidents happens in the hour before whistle-blow than in all the rest of the day. jackson believed that the testimony of the foreman and the superintendent were the cause of the adverse decision of the court.avis visits w/jackson's lawyer...a whining fool...contrasted w/colonel ingram, corporation lawyer..."worth twenty thousand dollars a year to them." there is an asterisked note from teddy roosevelt, more or less saying that lawyers find a way for the wealthy to avoid the law.avis visits w/peter donnelly, one of the foremen who testified, with henry dallas, the superintendent who refused to talk, with the other foreman, james smith. they believe jackson should have gotten damages.after, avis goes to her father's office in the chemistry building, encounters ernest, "our boasted civilization is based upon blood, soaked in floor, and neither your not i nor any of us can escape the scarlet stain."there's a bit about insurance and that scheme. ernest tells her to look up mrs wickson and mrs pertonwaithe, whose husbands are principal stockholders.chapter 4 slaves of the machineavis is shaken by the story of jackson's arm. she worries about ernest, wondering if he too, like christ, is destined for a cross. she meets colonel ingram...and after the initial change in him, he fell back on being a lawyer. next, she tries the newspapers, but they won't print anything. she got hold of percy layton, a university graduate of journalism and he explains it to her.she sees mr wickson and mr pertonwaithe...they believed they are right and there is a quote from john stuart mill, from on liberty: wherever there is an ascendent class, a large portion of the morality emanates from is class interests and its class feelings of superiority.ernest says, "no man in the industrial machine is a free-will agent, except the large capitalist, and he isn't, if you'll pardon the of the weaknesses of the human mind is that the wish is parent to the thought."society was the creation of the idle rich whotoiled not and who in this way played. perhaps...again, reminded of mrs. hollingsworth.carelessness is the root cause or reason for the denial of damages.chapter 5 the philomathsernest was often at avis's house. "he became my oracle." this chapter is a bit of a hoot, as it reminds me of some/many of the old black and white movies, the relationships between man and woman in those--the way the man gets what he wants, he takes it. his arms were around me before i knew. his lips were on mine before i could protest or resist.....he did not propose. he put his arms around me and kissed me and took it for granted that we should be married. there was no discussion about it.ernest in this chapter is like the character martin eden, in the novel of the same name...gentle and violent....awkward and ease...his behavior in our drawing-room reminded me of a careful bull in a china shop. read the first few pages of martin eden and you'll see what i mean. the philomaths: a group of people who meet once a month. no club house. london uses a neato tool here...a letter, a wrinkled letter, "written to me by ernest twenty years ago..." ernest was to receive a fee of $250 to speak. they gathered at the pertonwaithe house. 200 philomaths sat down to hear ernest.miss brentwood introduced him to colonel van gilbert---all the corporation lawyers have military appendages....heh! and this one is/was a will-breaker...a peculiar feature of the time. a dig at 'seaside library' novels, "a curious and amazzing literature that served to make the working class utterly misapprehend the nature of the leisure class."ernest speaks about his life...poverty, etc....the word "utopian" was used against him....and so there's this bitt about words...what's the one man say to denigrate your political opponent..."ridicule"? yeah...ridicule is the 1st response i believe..."utopian"...."the mere utterance of it could damn any scheme..." (and so it goes)ernest lambasts the ruling master class...there's a bitt about patent medicines...then he begins to describe the army of revolution....and this got the growls he predicted to avis...the $ threatened....there's a bitt about the census and the # in poverty....whether the number(s) is ever reported or given....the colonel gets some time...using ridicule..."jean jacques rosseau enunciated your socialistic theory nearly two centuries ago...." ernest and the colonel go back and forth a bit....but really, this is a vehicle for london to preach a sermon and it is a bore. there is at least one instance where the ole nugget show us don't tell us or some variation thereon is highly visible, and for that, we should thank london....treasure the bad as stephen king has said in on writing....on the kindle it is location kind of numbering is that? i've yet to figure it the 27% read-point....footnote...okay then! i think we've all learned something here so far...recess...smoke em if you have them.or wait. a bit more...ernest repeats his charge: mismanagement.a mr wickson answers him...more or less...grapeshot...the answer to the million and a half man army that ernest spoke about. ernest ends with "it does not matter whether it is in one year, ten, or a thousand--your class shall be dragged down." the meek shall inherit the earth? i won't argue the philosophy...this is a story...but i'd hazard that ernest's time-table is less than idealistic...even if it is what...realistic...a thousand years?we'll see where it goes....chapter 6 adumbrations...warnings of coming events began to fall about us thick and fast...avis's father is getting leaned on by the upper-yucks....there is a shadow of something colossal and menacing...shadow of the oligarchy...quote from john c calhoun: a power has risen up in the government...bitt about the bishop...whose eyes have been takes in whores and beggars, and is taken himself..out of the equation. london uses the metaphor of "up in the air" for many..he uses this time and again..i believe he also uses it in martin eden will verify when i find it. i'm thinking against the daychapter 7 the bishop's visionthis is the chapter w/the bishop trying to be a christian and taken out of the equation.chapter 8 the machine breakersjust before ernest ran for congress on socialist ticket, avis's father gives the dinner of the machine breakers as ernest called it....ernest expounds theory politikal chapter 9 the mathematics of a dreammore expounding during the dinner of the machine breakers. (this idea, breakers is interesting in light of stephen king and his roland-story----breakers) has to do w/the people there wanting to break the trust, break this break that..get their profit back...more or less set them all back hundreds of years..neato, hey? tell wall street that. or they already know? i think not.ernest tells them they can't break the machines...there's all this theory expounded, marxist i take it, surpluses and whatnot. the death of capitalism. banks. railroads. yeehaw.chapter 10 the vortexavis's father is forced out of the university...he makes the most of it. a socialist paper, the appeal to reason, is forced out of business. there is a bitt about the black hundreds, reactionary mobs organized by the perishing autocracy in the russian revolution...echoed here. more of the same.chapter 11 the great adventureavis's father's wealth is stolen from theft or outright taking...home money etc. during this chapter, avis is married to ernest. they moved to san francisco, slum south of market street. ernest quotes a favorite poem..."joy upon you and gain upon gain...the unslaked thirst of an eden cursed shall harrow the earth for its fill...."chapter 12 the bishopavis happens to meet bishop morehouse, out and about, living the life of christ....what ernest wanted...gawd, wouldn't it be lovely to be able to ask those who clamor today, is this what you mean? surely not, for they have already placed god in the closet. topsy turvy all. in the end, they haul the bishop away to the asylum.chapter 13, the general strikeernest is elected to congress in a socialist landslide, as well as 49 others...grangers are elected in some dozen states, though the incumbents do not leave.there are some strange things happen in this chapter...prophetic? you decide. "the great german war-lord prepared, and so did the united states prepare." well, the prussian is a soldier, always had been...and the u.s.a. has never really prepared..we've gotten caught w/our pants down and out peckers in our hands. "that night a german fleet made a dash on honolulu, sinking three american cruisers and a revenue cutter...." next day germany and the united states declared war...but it failed since a general strike was called. did london not take into account nationalism? to think that a strike could stop war? i dunno...chapter 14, the beginning of the thing in this chapter is that some big unions jump in bed w/the ruling elite...there's a bitt about "wonder cities"...and this anthony meredith, whose name ends the forward, lives in one, ardis..asgard is the name of another...."three centuries of the iron heel and four centuries of the brotherhood of man"...says meredith.chapter 15 last daysgrab-sharing...profit-grabbing..."arthurization" "the defection of the great unions had prevented out proletarian revolt..." in another month they send 50 men to congress....things look up, they believe.chapter 16 the endernest and avis go to washington....ernest has been earning money translating...avis's father is "slumming" my word...w/an "anthropologist's" (my word) view of those around him...(as london did?)mucho happens...lottsa death and destruction...told, not shown...not very interesting here and for much of the story give or take a chapter or three around this point.chapter 17 the scarlet liveryhubbub in congress...a [fake] bomb...smoke bomb...and that gets rid of all 50 socialists....avis was in the gallery that day. it'd be a real hoot to believe that wifes/husbands of representatives attend when congress is in session, wuudn't it? all 50 are placed in prisons scattered across the country....ernest is in alcatraz.chapter 18, in the shadow of sonomaavis spends six months in prison....there's a bitt about "fighting groups"...folk dedicated to the cause...a kind of special warfare person....there's much double-agent type stuff...people working both sides of the fence to get the goods. there's a bitt about "the passport system"....which sounds like 'papers' that all must carry.some bitts & pieces about members who, like james bond, both male and female, did daring deeds.avis is accompanied to a hideout--to the property of mr wickson, in the sonoma mountains...near the village of glen ellen.chapter 19, transformationernest tells avis, via letter, that she must make herself avoid capture, execution by the oligarch. there's bitts & pieces about "the red virgin" and the "frisco reds"...spy-like folk, spec-war-like folk. some characters from earlier are revisited--the two colonels...jackson's lawyer is given a name here....joseph hurd...chapter 20 a lost oligarch...earlier, it says the last oligarch?avis becomes "mary holmes"...when ernest arrives, there is a scene played out where he does not recognize her. this, unfortunately, is not believable...we are, alas, told too much, rather than being shown this. but remember, treasure the badchapter 21, the roaring abysmal beastthe oligarchs had succeeded in devising a governmental machine, as intricate as it was vast, that worked--and this despite all our efforts to clog and hamper this is interesting. so? what's the point? clogging for clogging's sake? let's dance?in a nut shell...ernest and avis in this manuscript are opposed to the idea that jackson lost his arm and wasn't taken care of...and for that reason, we need to turn the country on its head and institute new forms of gov't? getting up on the soapbox and condemning the christian for failing to take care of his fellow man didn't work, what's the point?there's a bitt about 'mercenaries' a real interesting idea as this is something that happens now and here it happens on a large scale...could it, yes it could happen on a large scale here and now....while the 'helpless mass of the population, the people of the abyss, as sinking into a brutish apathy of content w/misery.' as jefferson wrote in the declaration, all experience has shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, etc etc.there's bitts about the building of ardis, a wonder city....the building of asgard...ardis completed in 1942, asgard not until 1984.chapter 22 the chicago commune'ernest had largely planned the first revolt, and the date set had been somewhere early in the spring of 1918.' (this is the fall of 1917 here now) and this is another interesting piece, like the germans attacking honolulu in the earlier chapter...this is what? a year off from the russian revolution?chicago will be the epicenter, my word, not london's....'the people of the abyss were tormented out of their apathy.' avis and others are sent to chicago as the oligarch has learned of the plans for the revolt and will use agent-provocateur to hinder the revolt.lots of bloodshed.chapter 23 the people of the abysspandemonium all around...some interesting scenes...skyscraper fighting....from building to building...reading it w/the benefit/hindrance of our modern age, tee-vee, etc etc...i wonder if the images i see--based on teevee images of war--are what london saw? lots of bloodshed.chapter 24 nightmarecont'd riot, pandemonium, bloodshed, ethnic cleansing, killing of wounded, bodies heaped togetheravis is eventually rescued from it all. she finds herself w/ernest again.chapter 25 the terroristsback in new york...this chapter deals with the continued disaster that had befallen the cause with a capital c. ...there is added info from meredith, as there has been throughout the read, bitts about groups that sound like gangs...the danites...the widows of war...berserkers, valkyries....etc.the manuscript breaks off in the middle of a sentence...avis either fled or was captured...ernest it was known was centuries have passed since these events described by avis in the manuscript, commented upon by meredith from ardis.5-stars? meh...5-stars for effort. there is some good narration here, as well as some bad...the places where london told us, instead of showing us...that 1st obvious one where ernest is arguing with the other and the other side is not really given voice...we're told he said this or that, but the colonel does not say it...we are told...we are not the other place mentioned above, told not shown.there are large sections of preaching, ernest/london telling the world what's wrong with the world, the answer, socialism. and what would be the point of arguing the story? that is what ernest believed, what, i take it? that london believed? or a fraction of it? perhaps.and i am out of room!

  • Gaetano
    2019-05-18 08:15

    Jack London ha scritto Il Tallone di ferro nel 1908.In quegli anni di fermento dei popoli che sarebbero poi sfociati nella prima guerra mondiale e nella Rivoluzione di Ottobre era viva la sensazione di grandi cambiamenti e lui è bravissimo a raccontarci una storia in cui il futuro imminente era già trascorso da alcuni secoli e grazie all’artificio di un fortuito ritrovamento, dopo tanti anni e tante rivolte, del manoscritto nascosto dalla protagonista Avis Everhard ci consente di dare uno sguardo a quel passato burrascoso dell’umanità che lui non aveva ancora vissuto, prevedendone alcuni aspetti storici in modo stupefacente.Fantapolitica, certo, ma scritta con una abilità sì grande da farlo sembrare un testo storico, arricchito da tante note che ne diventano parte essenziale, così ricche di ironia ed arguzia. Jack London si schiera apertamente dalla parte dei socialisti americani e di quel proletariato sfruttato da capitalisti senza scrupoli e la figura del protagonista Ernest, sposo di Avis, incarna quell’eroe proletario quasi invincibile che, con il suo operato, la sua filosofia e la sua abilità oratoria, si erge contro il tallone di ferro dell’oligarchia dominante che corrompe e schiaccia chiunque si opponga ai propri interessi ed alla diseguaglianza spaventosa tra le classi.Non manca la parte avventurosa ed epica, con un crescendo di violenza, di scontri e di doppi giochi da parte degli infiltrati nei gruppi antagonisti. E la terribile rivolta di Chicago non può non evocare gli avvenimenti russi di qualche anno dopo. Ho letto e valutato questo libro più con il cuore che con la mente, con tanti spunti di riflessione su quello che è avvenuto realmente nella Storia, rabbrividendo per le persecuzioni patite da tanti uomini liberi e dalle loro idee, fatti che nella nostra era non sono ancora purtroppo rare eccezioni.Ed il Tallone… ha solo cambiato nome, modi ed aspetto.P.S. Nella mia edizione del libro si dice che Ernesto “Che” Guevara (1928-1967) potrebbe avere quel nome grazie al protagonista di questo romanzo; vero o falso che sia rimane un’ipotesi affascinante.

  • محمد الصفتي
    2019-05-02 07:11

    ثورية ماكسيم غوركي وواقعية تشيخوف مع رؤية عميقة للسياسة والتاريخ والاقتصاد والانسانية والثورة. كنز حقيقي الرواية دي وتفوق في واقعيتها وجمالها الام ل غوركي. والترجمة رائعة وجميلة مش شبيهة خالص ب عك ترجمات الألف كتاب الحالية. دروس في كيفية عمل النظام الرأسمالي الاحتكاري اقتصاديا وسياسيا واجتماعيا ودينيا واجراميا. والجميل في النسخة انها طبعة 1966 والرواية مكتوبة 1908 واسلوبها كلاسيكي بس ثوري وفيه روح اكتر بكتير من روايات بيقال عليها انها حديثة. حكايتي مع الرواية دي عظيييمة وممكن يكون اجمل افضال ابويا عليا انه عرفني عليها وهو اللي كلمني عنها وانا جبتهاله بعد اما قراها من 40سنة 😊

  • Anna
    2019-05-15 10:18

    'The Iron Heel' is an interestingly inconsistent book, not so much in ideology as in style. It is presented as a hagiography of an unsuccessful revolutionary, written by his wife. The first few chapters include her slightly tiresome habit of breathlessly praising everything he does or says. The account becomes more compelling when the wife herself becomes an active revolutionary and is separated from her husband. At this point, though, events very violent and the book culminates in the horrible bloodbath of an unsuccessful uprising against the titular 'Iron Heel'. The narrator's voice is also significant, however, when she actually comes into contact with the proletariat that the revolution claims to serve. The revolutionaries themselves seem mostly bourgeois and Avis (whose name I love, incidentally) sometimes comes off as patronising and condescending.Given that this book was first published in 1908, I can see why it was so influential. I was particularly struck by the role of women as revolutionaries in situations of extreme peril, which called to mind resistance fighters during the Second World War. I also noted the account of a war between the US and Germany being halted by a general strike. I have read elsewhere ('Children of the Revolution' by Robert Gildea) that on the eve of the First World War simultaneous general strikes were planned in France and Germany with the aim of preventing war. These did not succeed due apparently to chance circumstances, such as the untimely death of a lead organiser. It makes you wonder whether the world would be different if they had.Jack London's vision of the future seems overly aggressive and simplistic to my eyes, but nonetheless still strikes a chord. His descriptions of the plutocracy/oligarchy look astonishingly similar to the 1%, as we term them today. The ways in which politicians and the media serve the dominant economic ideology seem scarcely to have changed in over a century. However, London's apparent message that violent conflict is the only possible way forward seems depressing. Moreover, current experience of the Arab Spring appears to suggest that sudden violent uprising can result in ongoing destructive civil war. Perhaps reading this book a hundred years after it was written, knowing about the horror of the world wars, short-term violence to achieve a long term utopia no longer seems acceptable. Quite apart from the fact that the term socialism has been tainted by the totalitarian regimes that used that label. I wonder if Jack London would appreciate the irony that possibly the most effective, thriving oligarchic regime in the world still proclaims itself to the be socialist. (I refer of course to China.) This book has relatively little to say about countries outside the US and Europe; the references to Japan seem overtly racist now. I think 'The Iron Heel' is definitely still worth reading today, apart from anything else to marvel at how little macroeconomics has moved on. I didn't take from it an incitement to revolution so much as a chilling illustration of how a movement seeking to defeat a foe can end up becoming just as bad. At one point Avis comments that followers of the Iron Heel and of the revolution both treat their ideology as a religion, using it to justify torture and killing. This is a very important point, which begs the question, how does one get from the wretched situation described by Avis to the stable utopia stated to be in place hundreds of years later? Unfortunately that is not a question which the book can answer.

  • Jose Moa
    2019-05-20 07:11

    Jack London (1876-1940) is a polifacetic author and yet lately is mostly known by his tales in Alaska in the gold rush,some very good as To Build a Fire or Law of Life,tales of south seas and considered as young adult novels writter, as The Call of the Wild,he also have witten serious novels as for example perhaps the first postapocalliptic novel The Scarlet Fever, almost at the level of the famous The Earth Abides,and this one The Iron Heel.The Iron Heel is a distopian utopian socialist novel,told in first person by someone that have read the manuscript finded in a oak,hidden 600 years ago that tolds the life and adventures of a socialist activist Avis Everhard and her husband Ernst Everhard executed in 1932.Fundamentally the novel has two parts.The first is a brief clear lesson of politic economy where he explins concepts as the added value of industrial manufactures,the proces of sharing out between workers and capital of this added value ,the fight for the sharing that gives way to the fight of classes,as theworkers consum his share in prime neccesities and the capital accumulate till reach a monopolistc state,many times using practices of dumping for eliminate cmpetence.In the second part ,the workers try at first take the power by democratic elections but this is showed imposible by legal or violent maneouvers of the oligarchy (here we can make a reflection over Chile and Salvador Allende case),by this the only way of take the power is violently but the monopolistic capital takes revenge by imposing a totalitarian state The Iron Heel that lasts till a underermined year but is finally defeatedand followed by a socialist utopia.One has to see this novel as others similars in the histhoric context of absolute lack of rights of workers,child extenuating work and wild unregulated capitalism of the industrial revolution.The most interesting face of this novel is that can be considered as a anticipation novel,a fascist anticipation novel.The Iron Heel is a anticipation of all fascist regimenes in Europe.But has also today truths : the servilism of mass media to the big corporations ,i have seen some sort of dumping by great food distribution corporations to exterminate little food shops, the control of courts and law and the legislative if neccesary by oligopolios,the colusion between politic class and great companys and the spining doors between politic and economic groups or lobbies.The corruption of the sindicates that receive statal finantiation and by that loosing all independence, and two sort of workers:that with good salaries and a fix work in some big heavy statal or paraestatal industry corporations,this ones fierce defended by the sindicates , and those with little salaries,temporal works in minor or medium companys that are not defended or forgotten by the sindicates.One of the fundamental feet that joined with Looking Backwards and News from Nowhere form the triad of utopic socialist novels

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-04-23 04:22

    “We are all caught up in the wheels and cogs of the industrial machine.”When this book was selected for an SFF Audio Readalong discussion (link at bottom of post), I was surprised I hadn't heard of it in all my reading of dystopias and disasters. Jack London, an ardent socialist, published this in 1907 as a warning for the Oligarchy that was bound to take control if the proletariat didn't rise up. The story itself is told through the diary of Avis Everhard, telling the story of the revolutionary, the man she loved, and his attempts to overthrow the system. Most of the book is lectures on socialism, but there are some exciting bits of action thrown in from a far-off perspective. In an interesting twist (and this is stated at the beginning, so not really a spoiler), socialism doesn't exactly win. When we discussed the novel we puzzled over why he would tell it from that angle if he was hoping to convince people of the solution of socialism. There are even footnotes from a fictional editor to put the journal in the perspective of the current government, the "Iron Heel," which has been in power for several centuries. Knowing they don't succeed in their lifetime, or even several lifetimes, makes it a darker read than it would be otherwise.The Iron Heel was just too strong!"Power. Pour it over your tongue until it tingles with it. Power."It didn't exactly go the way Jack London wrote the future, except a little over 100 years later some of his concerns seem even more alarming than ever. He also foresaw war with Germany, an attack on our ships in Hawaii, an economic crash, using war as a way to overcome financial difficulties, and other minor ideas. He was writing from a world full of natural disaster, corporate destruction, and revolution, so he just followed some of the logical conclusions through. One interesting note - if you search Twitter for #ironheel, it still gets referenced fairly often. Even though this book was fairly unknown to me, it still must be read in some circles. I give it 4 stars because it was so thought provoking and made for great conversation, but as a straight novel I'd rate it more as a 3. ETA: Link to podcast, featuring Jesse from SFF Audio, Bryan Alexander, self-proclaimed educator, futurist, speaker, writer, and me (the only thing I proclaim is a lack of mastery). Honestly, I enjoyed the discussion more than the book.

  • Edie
    2019-05-03 05:32

    I give this book 5 stars for being revolutionary, in more ways than one. When it was written, I think the closest there was to the dystopian genre was H.G. Well's Time Machine. It was a leader in that sense, but it was also incredibly predictive and insightful to many future events. I had to stop reading several times to check the original copyright of the book. Was it really only written in 1908? How on earth did Jack London, the author best known for books like Call of the Wild and White Fang, with frightening accuracy, predict the events of WWI, the Japanese military aggresive society, and more?Now, I'm not a Socialist, and I don't consider myself very political in general. So when this book began to sound more and more like Socialist propoganda, I was a little turned off. But I still rate this 5 stars for the way the author expressed his political views. I'd never heard things described so simplistically and logically. It was very impressive.I was also impressed by the creative format of the book, which is penned several centuries in the future (2600 A.D.) by scholar Anthony Meredith. The narrator (Meredith) reads to us from the "Everhard Manuscript", which was written by Avis Everhard who lived during the turn of the 20th century. The manuscript covers the period of 1912 through 1932 and centers around Avis' experiences with the young revolutionary Ernest Everhard.I don't want to give too much of the novel away, because I really think that a lot of my friends would enjoy this book. It's an easy compelling read and it's oddly relavent to today's political atmosphere.

  • Behram
    2019-05-24 03:20

    Jack London'un bəlkə də mənim fikrimcə ən yaxşı kitabıdır Martin Eden'den belə yaxşıdır.Siyasi analizlərdən sosyal tənqidlərə qədər ,gələcəyə qarşı görüşlərdən sənaye inqilabının qorxunc tərəflərinə qədər hər sətir çox böyük ustalıqla yazılıb.Bu tip kitablara yəni Orwell'in 1984'ünə ,Ray Bradbury'nin Fahrenheit 451'inə,Swastika Geceleri'nə yalnızca distopik və ya sərt rejimin tənqidi kimi baxmamaq lazımdır.Bu kitablar diğər bütün kitablardan təməl fərqi kitabda da deyildiyi kimi deyilən sözleri somut vəziyyətə gətirərək qarşımıza qoyur və bizə əlimizlə toxunmağımıza məcbur edir.Sosiologiya biliyinin yanında siyasi tarixlə maraqlanan insanlar üçün möhtəşəm kitabdir.Məncə bu tip kitabları müəyyən altyapıyla birliktə analiz edərək oxumaq lazımdır o zaman bu tip kitablar bizə distopik markasının uzağında bir şeylər verir.Qısacası Jack London insanın keçmişdə hansı cəmiyət təkamülünün mərhələlərindən keçdiyini yox gələcəktə hansı cəmiyətin formalaşacağını ,təbəqələr arası münasibətlərin necə dəğişgənlik göstərəcəyini söyləyir.