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The Iron Heel

Derek McMillan

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When Hitler and Mussolini were still young unknowns, an American Socialist radically departed from the Party Line and outlined how capitalism would respond to the perceived threat of socialism. In doing so he provided a chilling vision of the rise of fascism.

Joan London sent a copy of the book to Leon Trotsky, not when he was in power but on the contrary when he was going into exile with every hand apparently against him.

I would be interested in the comments of other readers because of course Jack London is the writer most frequently denounced for racism. You would have to search The Iron Heel with a magnifying glass to find any of that. It is as if his detractors had some other agenda and were pointedly drawing attention to every early statment by Jack London which is racist and ignoring his later diatribes against racism.

These include the following statement to a Japanese magazine about how he would seek to oppose anti-Japanese racism in America - "I would begin by stopping the stupid newspapers from fomenting race hatred, but we will only overcome hatred by the realisation of socialism which is the practical application in economy and the state of the brotherhood of man."

(He was also an alcoholic who campaigned against drunkenness).

My comments on the Iron Heel are here


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