People Of The Abyss - Centenary Edition / Edition 1

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Jack London
No other book of mine took so much of my young heart and tears as that study of the economic degradation of the poor.
James Williams
It is written with the smoldering anger of turn-of-the-century revolutionary socialism. There are no gray shadings in London's economic world. There is only the evil of capitalism and the saintly suffering of the poor. The rich had had their stories told in mass periodicals, and London felt it was time to let the ignored speak. He thus wrote the biographies of the people who have been exploited by imperialism and capitalism. This is the book that counters the Horatio Alger story. For every Alger, for every Rockefeller, there is a mass of sufferers whose plight enabled the speedy rise to wealth of a few. In its sociological and journalistic documentation of poverty is a call for direct action. Wealth blinds, and London makes us see. With this reprinting of London's incredibly important and readable book, Pluto Press and London remind us of how economic exploitation must always be fought, that we must always be educated in the lives of the unfortunate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745318028
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 9/20/2001
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Centenary Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,202,209
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.54 (d)

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