Jack London: An American Original

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One of the most beloved writers of all time, Jack London is best remembered for his tales of adventure, such as White Fang and The Call of the Wild. Jack London paints a well-rounded picture of London's short, intrepid life, his prolific writings, his unusually clear and direct portrayal of people of different races, and his struggles with writing. The book includes excerpts, photographs, maps, suggestions for further reading, and a list of places to visit.

Oxford Portraits are informative and insightful biographies of people whose lives shaped their times and continue to influence ours. Based on the most recent scholarship, they draw heavily on primary sources, including writings by and about their subjects. Each book is illustrated with a wealth of photographs, documents, memorabilia, framing the personality and achievements of its subject against the backdrop of history.

Examines the life, beliefs, adventures, and works of Jack London, American author best known for his tales of hardship and survival set in the Yukon Territory.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Jack London lived a mere forty years but in that time, he saw and described adventures that continue to excite the imagination of modern readers. A child of poverty, London spent most of his youth and young manhood struggling to get by. Through his exposure to the harsh side of American capitalism, London became both a socialist and a social critic. Across several marriages and a number of backbreaking jobs Jack London honed the experiential background that was to become the fodder for his art. Biographer Rebecca Stefoff brings London to life for readers in this illustrated and comprehensive work. Stefoff recreates London's experiences as a lawbreaker, oyster pirate, Yukon gold hunter, sailor, father, and emerging writer. The man who produced books such as The Call of the Wild, The Sea Wolf, and White Fang was a complicated one indeed. Stefoff allows readers to better grasp not only London's life but also the time he lived in. Through this combined approach, to the man and his social setting, readers will come away with a deeper appreciation for both London and his work. This is a well-researched and carefully written study of a complicated figure in American literary history. Part of the "Oxford Portraits" series. 2002, Oxford University Press, Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-During his lifetime, London was immensely popular as a writer and speaker. After his death at the age of 40, however, his work gradually fell into critical disfavor, and he became known as the author of "dog stories" until literary interest in his work revived. This volume does an excellent job of illuminating his extraordinary life and career. The narrative is exciting and accessible, leaving readers with a sense of London's adventuresome and hardworking personality. The text is supplemented by interesting and informative illustrations, and includes excerpts from primary-source material. A list of parks and other historic sites that commemorate London's career is appended. The one weakness, and it is a major one, that detracts from this work's literary merit is the lack of citations. It is an unfortunate example of scholarly shoddiness that we would not tolerate from our students; we should expect better from the sources they cite.-Marilyn Heath, Belton-Honea Path High School, Honea Path, SC Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195122237
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: Oxford Portraits Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca Stefoff has written many nonfiction books for children and young adults, with an emphasis on science and history. Through her books teenage readers can explore topics as varied as ghosts, robots, bacteria, evolution, women pioneers, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, and forensic crime solving.
Over the course of her freelance writing career Rebecca has also published romance novels, celebrity biographies, reference works, and even a self-help book. In addition, she has adapted the works of historian Howard Zinn, science writer Charles C. Mann, and ethnic studies pioneer Ronald Takaki for young audiences.

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