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In 1902, Jack London, posing as an out-of-work sailor, went underground into the belly of the beast: the slums of London's East End. With passion and vision, he used his skill as a journalist to expose the horrors of the Abyss to the world. Because of his ability to blend in with working people and put them at their ease, because he donned their clothing, and spent nights on the street —working odd jobs, sleeping in the homeless shelters—he gained an insight into the slum life which remains unique. By interweaving the personal stories of the people he encountered with political analysis, he produced a vibrant work of nonfiction, which remains relevant to this day. Consider the following: about one in five children in the US live in poverty. Poverty is war, and it rages on with no end in sight, and the management is still guilty of mismanaging the wealth. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the People of the Abyss are among us today.
Jack London was famous for his adventure stories, such as "White Fang" and "The Call of the Wild", but he was also a skilled political writer and social critic. He led a varied and colorful life as a journalist, laborer, fisherman, gold-prospector and even a vagrant. Jack London came to the East End of London in 1902, and "The People of the Abyss" is the result of his investigative journalism that paints a vivid and disturbing portrait. It is both a literary masterpiece and a major sociological study. London posed as a stranded American sailor, sleeping in doss houses and living with the destitute and starving - the record of what he saw there remains as powerful today as it was then. Published to coincide with the centenary of his visit to the East End, this important book is an incredible precursor to the writings of George Orwell, and remains a standard-bearer critique of capitalism.