Science Fiction London, Jack: The Iron Heel. v1. 29 Sep 2022
#1  GrannyGrump 09-29-2022, 05:27 AM
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 Handmaid’s 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.
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”.

—Alfred Searls, Goodreads

John Griffith Chaney (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916), better known as Jack London, was an American novelist, journalist, and activist. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors to become an international celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing.

His most famous works are adventure stories set in in Alaska and the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush, such as The Call of the Wild, White Fang, “To Build a Fire”, “An Odyssey of the North”, and “Love of Life”. He also wrote about the South Pacific and about adventures at sea. He was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction, and wrote tales of fantasy and mystery & suspense.

The Iron Heel was originally published in 1908. This book is in the public domain worldwide, because the author died more than 100 years ago, and it was published prior to 1927.
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