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The Iron Heel

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  6,955 ratings  ·  535 reviews
A dystopian novel about the terrible oppressions of an American oligarchy at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and the struggles of a socialist revolutionary movement.
Audiobook, 354 pages
Published July 2010 by Librivox (first published 1908)
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Sugarpuss None of this actually happened. (The book was written in 1908 & talks about events that happened in 1913 & beyond.) It's pretend. Hence, the…moreNone of this actually happened. (The book was written in 1908 & talks about events that happened in 1913 & beyond.) It's pretend. Hence, the reason it is labeled as fiction. Hope this helps.(less)

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3.75  · 
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 ·  6,955 ratings  ·  535 reviews


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Lyn
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
The Iron Heel by Jack London is Upton Sinclair meets Wolf Larson.

Described by many as the first of the modern dystopian novels, this one takes a strongly socialist stance, clearly espousing this ideology in lengthy diatribes. While reading this work I frequently compared to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, but in contrast. Both novels ambitiously seek a prophetic tone, but both ultimately wind up as monological propaganda with straw man arguments propped up in opposition.

The Iron Heel does have the
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Matt
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

to-read-before-it-gets-banned

This is an important book. It's so important that the editors of the German Wiktionary site decided to use a quote from the book for the entry IMPORTANT. I think I never used the phrase must read for a book in any one of my reviews. And I'm still not doing it here. But I'd answer YES! if you ask “Should I read this book?”

Those of you who read other works by Jack London and think that this is some adventure story set in Alaska or on a ship at sea or something? Forge
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Ahmad Sharabiani
762. The Iron Heel, Jack London
The Iron Heel is a dystopian novel by American writer Jack London, first published in 1908, A dystopian novel about the terrible operations of an American oligarchy at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and the struggles of a socialist revolutionary movement.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هشتم ماه جولای سال 1972 میلادی
عنوان: پاشنه آهنین: با سه مقدمه از: آناتول فرانس، بل وایان کوتوریه، فرانسیس ژوردن؛ نویسنده: جک لندن، مترجم: محمد صبحدم؛ تهران، فرخ، 1331، در 318 ص؛ چاپ
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Magrat Ajostiernos
Abandono a 100 páginas de terminarlo porque DIOS MÍO QUE ABURRIMIENTO.
Esto no es una distopía, no es una novela, es un puñetero discurso anticapitalista de 300 páginas, a quien pueda interesar, ya sabe...
Alex
Oct 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: socialist pigs
Shelves: 2013
Jack London wrote a dystopia! Did you know that? I didn't! It is terrible.

The first 75% is pure political screed. And not very well scrode, either; it's hysterically and ineptly scridden. Jack London was a socialist, and this book makes socialism look bad through its sheer incompetence. (By the way, that Lincoln quote didn't happen.) The fact that I happen to agree with the basic ideas here doesn't make the book any less boring.

When the plot finally does kick in, it's...well, who cares what it i
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James Barker
My father loved Jack London. When I was a child, in his library, the little room under the stairs, there were faded copies of 'White Fang' and 'Call of the Wild' that had both seen better days. I wish Dad had got beyond the boy's own adventure output that made London famous; I think it would have helped to explain some things that troubled him throughout his life.

For 'The Iron Heel' is a fine socialist text but it is not just this. Certainly the book influenced George Orwell and a stream of thou
...more
Semih Eker
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kütüphane
Eser kadar önsöz'ü de güzel olan eserlerden birisini bitirdim.
İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları'ndan okudum, gerçekten önsöz ve sayfaların altındaki açıklamalar mükemmel, esere bambaşka bir tat katıyor. İşin garibi eser aslında bir bilimkurgu(distopya) ama açıklamalar ile birlikte tarihten bir kesit okuyormuş tadı alıyorsunuz. Hatta 2000'li tarihleri görünce zihnimde gerçek ile distopyanın iç içe girdiği bölümler oldu :)

Eserin konusun kapitalizmin toplum üzerindeki etkisi ve sosyalizm ile savaşı olduğ
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Cwn_annwn_13
Dec 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In the Iron Heel London lays out something right in step with reality, past present and almost certainly the future. Jack London was a guy that had hobnobbed and interacted with the well to do (he was even a member of Bohemian Grove) but he had also seen the hard side of life, working on fishing boats and in various brutal exploitive labor jobs, doing time in jail, etc. So he had an insight that not many people have.

In this work he really lays out through fictional characters how many segments
...more
A.J. Howard
The Iron Heel is said to have been a great influence on later dystopian fiction, but London's book is completely lacking the subtlety and skill of Orwell, Huxley, or Burgess. Where the latter authors tell carefully crafted fables, London relies on heavy handed, exhausting, and apparently plagiarized polemics. Although they are almost ideological antonyms, this book is much more akin to Rand's Atlas Shrugged than Orwell's 1984. At least Rand's tome managed to engage the reader before embarking on ...more
Emre
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5

' Kim ki rekabetçidir, yok olacaktır.' sf:122

' Servetten daha büyük bir güç daha vardır. Daha güçlüdür çünkü kimse onu sizden alamaz. Bizim gücümüz, proletaryanın gücü kaslarımızdadır, oyları veren ellerimizdedir, tetiği çeken parmaklarımızdadır. Kimse bunu bizden alamaz. Asıl kuvvet budur işte, hayatın kuvvetidir, servetten de güçlü olan ve zenginliğin elimizden alamayacağı kuvvettir.' sf:142
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book illustrates that just because you like some of a writers work it doesn't mean you'll like it all.

What we have here is an attempt at selling an ideology inside a sort of doomed romance story...and take that as I wrote it. Not only is the romance doomed, so is the story. Any story in this volume (which I skimmed as an attempt to read London's tortured attempt to make universal socialism logical is painful at best) Any story in this book (and there isn't much) is completely overwhelmed b
...more
Rıdvan
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bir devrim kitabı.
Devrim for beginners ya da Devrim for nondevrimers diyebiliriz.
Tabi devrim için gerekli olan tek şey, distopya.
Gerçek dünyada devrim gerçekleşemeyeceğine gore, London gitmiş bir distopya yaratmış ve devrimini orada gerçekleştirmiş.
Kitabı sevgili Avis Everhead 'in ağzından dinliyoruz. Avis, Ernest'in eşi.
Ernest ise Amerika'da ki önemli solculardan, devrimcilerden. Avis bize kocasını ve yaşadıklarını anlatıyor.
Avis, Ernest 'le tanışmadan once dünyadan habersiz bir aristocrat kız
...more
Baris Ozyurt
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
“En cesur, en vuruşkan ve fedakâr arkadaşlarımız savaş bölüklerimize giriyorlardı; on yıl sonra Ernest, savaş bölükleri şeflerinin ona vermiş oldukları istatistiklere dayanarak hesap etti ki, savaş bölüklerine giren bir erkek veya kadının ortalama ömrü beş yıldan fazla sürmüyor. Bütün savaş bölüklerindeki arkadaşlar kahramanlardan ibaretti ve garibi şudur ki, hepsi öldürmeye karşıydı. Tabiatlarına aykırı hareket ediyorlardı, fakat hürriyeti pek seviyorlardı ve bu hürriyet uğruna hiçbir kurbanı ç ...more
B-MO
Nov 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Wow....
Wow...

Wow....

OK, ok....First off...this is not your regular Jack London stuff, hell I didn't even know he was a socialist till reading this.

This is a dystopian novel, an odd book, supposedly a manuscript dug up around the year 2700, this manuscript chronicles events that take place in the early 20th century as capitalism develops into a sort of oligarchy.

The reader is given footnotes by a historian from 2700 who is trying to explain the strangeness of some of our history to his contemporaries
...more
Thom Swennes
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: I would recommend it to every thinking and feeling person.
Revolutionary! I have read some of Jack London’s works but The Iron Heel came as a complete surprise. Published in 1908, it proved both intuitive and fatalistic. Written before the World War I and the Russian Revolution, it suggested their passing. The book is written as a manuscript written around the start of World War I and found hundreds of years later. The document describes the coming revolution and it inevitability. The industrial revolution and capitalism has run amuck and the oppressed ...more
Alfred Searls
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Now, before we go on, here’s a suggestion; check your personal political views in at the door. In ‘The Iron Heel’ Jack London openly displays his early twentieth century socialist leanings but the book itself is much more than the sum of its political and economic parts. Don’t believe me? Well try this for size - “Under the oligarchs will flourish, not a priest class, but an artist class.”

A bold assertion I think you’ll agree, and one which few writers have ever chosen to ascribe to an imaginary
...more
Anna
Jan 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Iron Heel' is an interestingly inconsistent book, not so much in ideology as in style. It is presented as a hagiography of an unsuccessful revolutionary, written by his wife. The first few chapters include her slightly tiresome habit of breathlessly praising everything he does or says. The account becomes more compelling when the wife herself becomes an active revolutionary and is separated from her husband. At this point, though, events very violent and the book culminates in the horrible ...more
marco_izner
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Prima e dopo la Rivoluzione]

Ci sono talmente tante cose da dire su questo libro che non saprei nemmeno da dove cominciare.
Mi metterò a fare un commento autobiografico come sono quasi sempre solito fare, ché tanto il buon Jack non se la prenderà, visto che la sua opera, come quella di tanti altri grandi autori, è in buonissima parte autobiografica; e ne aveva ben donde, sia chiaro: non raccontare una vita come la sua sarebbe stato un affronto alla vita stessa.
Ma veniamo al “Tallone di Ferro”, a
...more
Chris Dietzel
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take the journal style of Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale', the social outrage found in Orwell's nonfiction writing, and Ayn Rand's use of long-running dialogue to get across political ideology and you have 'The Iron Heel.' First published in 1907, it's heard to imagine this book wasn't influential to each of those authors. It's also hard to believe I didn't even know about the book until another GR member referred me to it.

The Oligarchy in 'The Iron Heel' aims to crush its citizens, just as Ocea
...more
Jon-Erik
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George Orwell commented that the prophecies of this book turned out to be more true than either The Shape of Things To Come or Brave New World. He was correct. It was also more prophetic than 1984. In the end, 1984 is a reduction of philosophical ideas into a manual of power. Even if Oceania never exists, it will always be, like a Platonic idea, out there as a model for a way to run the world.

The Iron Heel, on the other hand, could almost have been written in 2007 instead of 1907.

As a political
...more
Brian Napoletano
Jan 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
It is not difficult to imagine why this work does not share the same recognition as White Fang or The Call of the Wild. London, through the character of Ernest Everhard, makes no apologies for his relentlessly honest assessment of contemporary capitalism and the society it is producing. In the story, the "Iron Heel" of the title is a title commonly applied to the capitalist "Oligarchy" that rises out of the numerous contradictions in capitalist society that were so starkly visible in the early t ...more
Jim
My old 1970ish paperback has an introduction by Howard Zinn that's very well done. My only prior reading of Zinn was his A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn. I don't care for him too much as a historian due to his bias, but he is readable. He seems to like "Iron Heel" a lot, too.

My first impression was a weird one. It kind of reminds me of Atlas Shrugged for some reason. I don't think London & Rand could be further apart politically, though. Every comparison
...more
Jon
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: KC Pub Lib Altered States Winter 2011
Dystopian, or very dated alternate history, which drowned me in Marxism and the evils of capitalism as viewed through the lens of the very early 20th century. My perspective, a century later, shows many of these ills have been legislatively remedied. Not much of a story or plot, no real character growth; mostly essay or lecture on socialism, topped off with stomping feet, neo-terrorism and the beginnings of a non-nuclear Cold War.
Quirkyreader
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a major piece of dystopian fiction. I am surprised it is not as well known as London's other works.

I would suggest reading this along with Orwell's "Animal Farm".
Nesli
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-my-library
Sosyalist Jack London, sosyalizmi romanlaştırarak öğretmeyi gaye edinmiş ve başarılı da olmuş. Bunun dışında yazarın gelecekteki küresel olayları da önceden tahmin etmiş gibi romanda dillendirmesi ilgi çekici bir detay.
Atticus06
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Ovunque esista una classe dominante, gran parte della morale pubblica ha origine dai suoi interessi e dal suo senso classista di superiorità».


In uno dei racconti di Tu, sanguinosa infanzia di Michele Mari, Conrad dice a Jack London: "lo stile, benedetto ragazzo, lo stile.

Leggendo i libri di London in italiano ovviamente è impossibile giudicare "lo stile", influenzato com'è dal traduttore, ma se c'è una cosa che mi affascina sempre è la grande versatilità di quest'uomo. Riesce a raccontare sto
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Lisajean
Aug 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
It’s like reading a left-wing Ayn Rand and in no way is that a good thing. As much as I take issue with London’s politics, I’m even more disappointed with the poor writing. I love Martin Eden and I enjoy his adventure stories, but this is truly terrible. Wooden characters, ridiculous dialogue, a terrible plot... this is one of only three books that I hurled across the room after I finished reading because I was so disgusted. I’m baffled that it has any good reviews. Every second spent reading th ...more
Esma Tezgi
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Demir Ökçe, kurgusuyla, karakteri ile ve anlatmak istedikleriyle oldukça güzel ve insanı doyuran bir kitaptı. Oku-geç roman olarak okursanız sevme ihtimalinizin oldukça düşük olduğunu düşünüyorum, yazarın anlatmak istediğine kulak vererek ve düşünerek okursanız hem seveceğiniz hem de size bir şeyler katabilecek nitelikte bir roman.

Ayrıntılı yorum için; http://yorumatolyesi.blogspot.com/201...
wally
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: london
"at first, this earth, a stage so gloomed with woe you almost sicken at the shifting of the scenes. and yet be patient. our playwright may show in some fifth act what this wild drama means."

contents
forward
1 my eagle
2 challenges
3 johnson's arm
4 slaves of the machine
5 the philomaths
6 adumbrations
7 the bishop's vision
8 the machine breakers
9 the mathematics of a dream
10 the vortex
11 the great adventure
12 the bishop
13 the general strike
14 the beginning of the end
15 last days
16 the end
17 the scarlet l
...more
Gaetano
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack London ha scritto Il Tallone di ferro nel 1908.

In quegli anni di fermento dei popoli che sarebbero poi sfociati nella prima guerra mondiale e nella Rivoluzione di Ottobre era viva la sensazione di grandi cambiamenti e lui è bravissimo a raccontarci una storia in cui il futuro imminente era già trascorso da alcuni secoli e grazie all’artificio di un fortuito ritrovamento, dopo tanti anni e tante rivolte, del manoscritto nascosto dalla protagonista Avis Everhard ci consente di dare uno sguard
...more
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4,358 followers
Jack London was an American novelist, journalist, social-activist and short-story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival. At his peak, he was the highest paid and the most popular of all living writers. Because of early financial difficulties, he was largely self educated past grammar school.
London drew heavily on his life experiences in his writing. He spent ti
...more
“The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class. Its function is to serve the established by moulding public opinion, and right well it serves it.” 15 likes
“I know nothing that I may say can influence you," he said. "You have no souls to be influenced. You are spineless, flaccid things. You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican Party. There is no Democratic Party. There are no Republicans nor Democrats in this House. You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy.” 11 likes
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