LeeAnn Heringer's Reviews > The People of the Abyss

The People of the Abyss by Jack London
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Jul 05, 2010

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bookshelves: ibooks, nonfiction, read-in-2010, 20th-century, memoirs, gutenberg-org-free-books, britian
Read from July 05 to 06, 2010

I read this as a companion piece to "Wolf", the recent biography of Jack London. He was a lifelong socialist and this was a subject he was passionate about. This was the dark underbelly of the gilted age. And because of unions and the socialist party, we have minimum wage, social security, and welfare to provide a safety net for the kind of problems Jack London explores in this book.

But I am a poor revolutionary (and I think Jack London was too). 100 years later, people are still being chewed up by the heavy machinery of industrialized capitalism. We still haven't figured out how to provide meaningful employment to the weak and intellectually disadvantaged. Out-sourcing the worst abuses overseas doesn't solve the problem. And I feel like London's closing argument that it's just a matter of getting a good leader and management of resources is a bit simplistic because wherever that prefect leader is hiding, nobody's found him yet.
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