Geoffrey Widdison's Reviews > The Iron Heel

The Iron Heel by Jack London
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's review
Jun 10, 2012

really liked it
Read in June, 2012

I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this book before. It's one of the best treatises on socialism I've ever read, and a fascinating work of political philosophy. I think this and "Atlas Shrugged" ought to be read as a set, because they're so similar, but exactly opposite in perspective. Both books consist largely of the heroes explaining their political/economic viewpoints to the uninitiated, and both are set against the backdrop of the opposite point of view (socialists in Rand's work, wealthy capitalists in London's) taking over the United States and basically destroying the country. Both works also have similar weaknesses: implausibly idealized protagonists, strawmen as antagonists and long stretches of the author's philosophy shoehorned into the heroes mouths.

Despite it's failings, "The Iron Heel" is very well written and is a fascinating read for anyone interested in economic and political philosophy.

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