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Jack London$
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Kenneth K. Brandt

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780746312964

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780746312964.001.0001

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Class Struggle: Socialist Writings and The Iron Heel

Class Struggle: Socialist Writings and The Iron Heel

(p.60) 4 Class Struggle: Socialist Writings and The Iron Heel
Jack London

Kenneth K. Brandt

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines key features of the author’s political and socialist thought. It offers thematically related analyses of the novel Before Adam and three politically weighted stories—“The Strength of the Strong,” “Goliah,” “The Apostate”—that confront economic exploitation and inequity. This chapter also presents a reading of London’s most overtly political novel, The Iron Heel in which London develops a more idealized Nietzschean superman figure in his protagonist Ernest Everhard. Lucid as Everhard’s arguments may appear, his revolutionary socialist agenda encounters substantial resistance, and these challenges register some of London’s more pessimistic reservations regarding the agenda of the Socialist movement at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Keywords:   Socialism, Christopher Boehm, Darwinism, Child Labor, Cooperation, Social Darwinism, Marx

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