The Iron Heel book cover

The Iron Heel

subjects: Political / Legal Thriller, Classic Science Fiction

Description

“The Iron Heel” is Jack London’s 1908 dsytopian novel about the rise of oligarchic tyranny in the United States. Playing upon the socialistic themes that were so prevalent at the beginning of the 20th century, “The Iron Heel” tells the story of a wealthy class that squeezes out the middle class and effectively rules for three centuries until a revolution ushers in the “Brotherhood of Man”. As important a commentary today as when it was first written, London’s novel is a chilling depiction of a possible future world and an excellent exposition on the struggle between socio-economic classes.

Excerpt

The soft summer wind stirs the redwoods, and Wild–Water ripples sweet cadences over its mossy stones. There are butterflies in the sunshine, and from everywhere arises the drowsy hum of bees. It is so quiet and peaceful, and I sit here, and ponder, and am restless. It is the quiet that makes me restless. It seems unreal. All the world is quiet, but it is the quiet before the storm. I strain my ears, and all my senses, for some betrayal of that impending storm. Oh, that it may not be premature! That it may not be premature!

The Second Revolt was largely the work of Ernest Everhard, though he cooperated, of course, with the European leaders. The capture and secret execution of Everhard was the great event of the spring of 1932 A.D. Yet so thoroughly had he prepared for the revolt, that his fellow–conspirators were able, with little confusion or delay, to carry out his plans. It was after Everhard’s execution that his wife went to Wake Robin Lodge, a small bungalow in the Sonoma Hills of California.

Small wonder that I am restless. I think, and think, and I cannot cease from thinking. I have been in the thick of life so long that I am oppressed by the peace and quiet, and I cannot forbear from dwelling upon that mad maelstrom of death and destruction so soon to burst forth. In my ears are the cries of the stricken; and I can see, as I have seen in the past,

Without doubt she here refers to the Chicago Commune. all the marring and mangling of the sweet, beautiful flesh, and the souls torn with violence from proud bodies and hurled to God. Thus do we poor humans attain our ends, striving through carnage and destruction to bring lasting peace and happiness upon the earth.

And then I am lonely. When I do not think of what is to come, I think of what has been and is no more—my Eagle, beating with tireless wings the void, soaring toward what was ever his sun, the flaming ideal of human freedom. I cannot sit idly by and wait the great event that is his making, though he is not here to see. He devoted all the years of his manhood to it, and for it he gave his life. It is his handiwork. He made it.

With all respect to Avis Everhard, it must be pointed out that Everhard was but one of many able leaders who planned the Second Revolt. And we to–day, looking back across the centuries, can safely say that even had he lived, the Second Revolt would not have been less calamitous in its outcome than it was.