Wolf: The Lives of Jack London
James L. Haley
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London was plagued by contradictions. He chronicled nature at its most savage, but wept helplessly at the deaths of his favorite animals. At his peak the highest-paid writer in America, he was nevertheless constantly broke. An irrepressibly optimistic crusader for social justice, he burned himself out at forty: sick, angry, and disillusioned, but leaving behind a voluminous literary legacy, much of it ripe for rediscovery.
In Wolf, award-winning author James L. Haley explores the forgotten Jack London—at once a hard-living globetrotter and a man alive with ideas, whose passion for social justice roared until the day he died. Returning London to his proper place in the American pantheon, Wolf resurrects a major American novelist in his full fire and glory.
Britt/Nelson fight Burns/Johnson fight Johnson/Jeffries fight London/Charmian racism and Whitaker and London See also Game, The (London) Boyes, H. E. Brett, George Edward Brett, George P. background contract with London London and other publishers London/Macmillan and strained London relationship Britt, Jimmy Broughton, Luke Brown Wolf (dog) Bullfighting Burbank, Luther Burning Daylight (London) Burns, Tommy California Fish Patrol
long lashes, and delicate features, but with a physique honed by constant labor and a constitution to match. Banking on his experience at handling the sloops Razzle Dazzle and Reindeer , London signed aboard the much larger sealer as an able seaman, a rank that normally required three years’ experience and an age of nineteen. This presumptuousness was sure to cause him trouble with the seasoned and unforgiving older sailors who would pounce on any excuse, any shirked task or poorly tied knot,
in Man and Superman. The lit fuse of his mind sparked through master after master; this was life, and it began to make sense. At some level it snagged in his mind that Darwin’s survival of the fittest and London’s growing dedication to social justice conflicted, for unfairness and cruelty enforced the survival of the fittest. But he could set that aside to think through later; for now, the broad strokes had to be assimilated. His time on the rails had been crucial in defining his cast of mind
from Stanford. She was more brilliant than beautiful, but for London at almost twenty-four, to meet a woman who could duel with him intellectually as well as engage him emotionally was a fascinating novelty. Doubtless they had heard of each other before; she was as famous for her outspoken socialism in San Francisco as he was in Oakland, and they both had ambitions to be authors. “We shook hands,” Anna remembered, “and remained talking to each other. I had a feeling of wonderful happiness. To me
before: social acceptance, safety from ridicule, and a refuge from his own passions, which he well knew could be tempestuous. 15 This view is consonant with London’s habitual self-sacrifice in his desire to do the right things by others—his life-long support of Flora despite her manipulative shrewishness, and the generous allowance he settled on Bessie and the girls. It would also embrace London’s active study of the subconscious, and his wariness of the consequences it could wreak on careless