The Iron Heel is more a political idea book about a possible American future cast in narrative form than a fleshed-out novel. But while somewhat lackThe Iron Heel is more a political idea book about a possible American future cast in narrative form than a fleshed-out novel. But while somewhat lacking as a story, the vision is perhaps more compelling now than has been the case for many decades previous given trends in our contemporary society.
Given the concentration of wealth, power, and control into the hands of a small number of wealthy businesses and individuals, what lies in the future for a democratic society in the United States? This is the subject which the The Iron Heel seeks to explore. London envisions a grim and merciless struggle for power and dominance ahead, developments that will ultimately lead to the end of democracy and the beginning of an ongoing struggle between the impoverished, powerless majority and The Oligarchs, the modern-day aristocratic minority of wealth and privilege.
I'll admit it was a little difficult to get through some of the long dialogue sections, especially at the initial chapters which sound more like a something from a political tract or a comic book than the real speech of real people. That's part of the inherent difficulty of an idea story - it's hard to teach and preach without sounding teachy and the preachy.
On the other hand, I can see how The Iron Heel could serve as a way to reach an uneducated, general public without the means, inclination, or opportunity to research and understand politics and economics. If your story was written more for the purposes of advocacy journalism than polished art, you're probably not going to fret too much over the aesthetics.
London seems to take the position that violent conflict is simply inevitable, unavoidable, and even justifiable. Perhaps the struggle between the rebels and The Oligarchs has become more ambiguous and morally tangled in our age of terrorism.
I'd like to say that The Iron Heel is nothing more than an amusing sci-fi/horror story, but the threats to democratic society look more real every day. ...more
I love this edition of the New Testament, mainly for one single reason -readability.
Most Bible printings make them an absolute pain in the a** to reaI love this edition of the New Testament, mainly for one single reason -readability.
Most Bible printings make them an absolute pain in the a** to read. I have a number of different Bible translations, and I absolutely HATE that stupid dual-column layout that's the printing standard for the majority of editions out there. After years spent searching for a nice, easy-to-read, modern English translation of the Bible with a single column layout, I finally stumbled on this one in a used book store (along with it's twin companion volumes covering the Old Testament).
The way the text appears on the page makes such a difference. When a Bible's text is printed on the page like a regular book, it reads as a flowing whole. When it's printed in cramped dual-columns and crowded in by textual notes and reference numbers, one's reading of the text becomes fragmented. The only thing that would make this particular edition of the New Testament perfect would be if they had completely eliminated those obnoxious and distracting chapter and verse numbers from the text. As it is, this is about as good as copy as I could have hoped to find.
If you can find yourself a used copy, this is a great one to own. ...more