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Reviews for Jack London 2 - The Iron Heel And Other Stories

 Jack London 2 - The Iron Heel And Other Stories magazine reviews

The average rating for Jack London 2 - The Iron Heel And Other Stories based on 2 reviews is 4.5 stars.has a rating of 4.5 stars

Review # 1 was written on 2018-08-25 00:00:00
2005was given a rating of 4 stars Eric Thompson
Jack London's world of sci-fi is quite bleak, from a man's obsessive torture of the last mammoth for accidentally stepping on his dog, to two scientists willing to murder over the secret of invisibility, to the gruesome delivery of a severed arm as a gift to a corrupt 25th century cotton magnate, to the gleeful genocide of the Chinese population through biological warfare. "The Iron Heel" falls right in line with this cynical view of humans and their inheritance, and is a stark contrast to other sci-fi works of the era that depict brawny and brainy inventors building spaceships and ray guns to blast both earthly and otherworldly baddies. In fact, this novel is far too real. Do not be misled or put off by other reviews that "The Iron Heel" is all about the evils of capitalism. London's main focus is the concentration of power within a very small class of elites. Few can successfully argue that we are not seeing the results of Oligarchy in our own country over the past 40 years, and this novel brilliantly outlines how such a thing happens and the consequences. The destruction of the Middle Class, the economic drive for a ruling class to push world trade on its nation, the manipulation of the press to keep the mass population asleep, the political use of "Antifa"-style groups and tactics, all eerily comes together in a work that is over a century old but is shockingly current to the modern reader. Some reviews complain about the amount of footnotes, but I see them as critical. Many of the notes in the first part are about real historical events, and are very educational, in addition to strengthening London's intellectual arguments for his socialist-leaning economics and futurist predictions. This work may not leave you singing Socialist anthems, but will certainly keep you much more aware of the politics around you. A must read.
Review # 2 was written on 2013-04-01 00:00:00
2005was given a rating of 5 stars John Graham
I had never read any of Jack London's works before. Now that I've read this one, I'm very tempted to read some more. This is exactly the kind of thorough examination, with perfectly viable examples, of why capitalism does not work. The characters and their stories are made up, but they are mirror images of so many people in our world today. Given that this book was first published in 1908, I first thought it was amazing how accurately London portrays all parties in the capitalist game of today. As I consider it though, it seems that he is simply telling the story that has played out time and again - the inevitable corruption of power in a capitalist society. As I read the novel, I couldn't help wishing that the average Westerner would read it as well - especially those who seem to think that capitalism "gives them the freedom to be successful if they're willing to work hard." Unfortunately, hard work has much less to do with success than does luck of being born into a family of influence. Sadly, the average Westerner is so brainwashed into thinking that capitalism is working for them, they are completely unwilling to even consider other alternatives. This book presents the true driving force of capitalism and how it suppresses the common sense of the masses in order to sustain itself. It shows, with examples, why so-called "conspiracy theories" are not implausible (as capitalists would have us believe), but inevitable and necessary to keep a capitalist system from collapsing. This is the book that inspired Orwell's 1984, and sadly most of the governments of our time. As a side-note, this book is in the public domain and is available as an eBook (several formats) on Project Gutenberg. Therefore, there are no excuses for not reading it!


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