Coming off a string of the works of Jack London during the early months of this year, I think this may be my last, for a while anyway.
Written during a period when class struggle was growing prevalent around the globe, namely Russia, Jack London was certainly pro-socialism, and as a personal witness to the movement there, was not at all reluctant to express his belief in it, at least until a couple of years after he was publicly cited for his favorable views on the matter.
Revolution, socialism, brain-washing, it’s all there just like in later novels published after the second “Great War to End All Wars”, The Iron Heel may have been the first of its type to be taken in by the west, and in my opinion was influential in later works including a couple of my favorites, Atlas Shrugged and 1984. It also brought traces to my mind of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, taking place during the Spanish Civil War.
The Iron Heel was compact, similar to the Hemingway mentioned, though direct and to the point of his political belief at that time.
Although this work by Jack London wasn’t as prophetical as Orwell’s, he did identify a phenomenon that prevails ever so strongly to this day one hundred years later, the dissipation of the middle class.
Overall, I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone who got anything out of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, George Orwell’s 1984, or even Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhicago.