Review of Jack London and Racism in America

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Review of Jack London and Racism in America

Post by Theresam »

[Following is an official review of "Jack London and Racism in America" by Ben Goldstein.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Jack London and Racism in America by Ben Goldstein is a nonfiction book focused on the personal beliefs of the famous author, Jack London, as seen through his writings and personal documents. Ben Goldstein conducted a significant amount of research into the opinions of London by reviewing personal letters and studying biographies of the famous author. This 49-page book takes an in-depth look at the contradictions evident in London’s life and works. London led a fascinating life full of adventure and he held strong opinions on many subjects. Excerpts from letters reproduced in this book show how passionate London was in conveying his opinions.

Goldstein provides several sources that support the position that London believed Anglo-Saxons to be the superior race. This is shown by well-documented research into personal letters and papers. One of the contradictions identified in the book was the fact that Jack London lived with an African American couple on and off until he was sixteen. London’s mother suffered from post-partum depression and was unable to nurse him. A neighboring African American woman had a baby who died, so she was able to nurse Jack. This book describes a close relationship between Jack and this family. Therefore, he was aware of the struggles in the African American community and could relate to the community due to his upbringing. Also, despite statements about the superiority of Anglo-Saxons, many of the main characters and heroes in his novels are not Anglo-Saxon.

I enjoy reading books by Jack London. He was a gifted writer and I particularly liked reading Call of the Wild. It was interesting to learn about the personal life and beliefs of Jack London. I was not familiar with the concept that he may have been racist. I learned a lot about his background and personal life from this book. What I liked most about this book was the direct quotes from letters that London sent to friends and associates. It was interesting to read about his beliefs in his own words. He was very passionate about his beliefs and engaged in arguments via these letters on important topics. The only negative I can mention about the book was that it was a short read. At 49 pages, it contains a lot of detailed information. I would have enjoyed reading more analysis and opinions of Goldstein and he presented his research in this book.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy reading nonfiction books about famous authors and their personal beliefs. Any reader interested in Jack London would find this book fascinating. It would also appeal to readers who enjoy nonfiction books about racism in America. The book focuses on London and his beliefs; however, it also provides details about the historical aspects of America during this time.

I give this book a rating of four out of four stars. I am impressed by the detailed research presented by the author. The personal letters written by London were fascinating to read. I saw only a few grammatical errors in the book, so I believe it was professionally edited. By reading this book, I learned a lot about Jack London and his personal background and opinions.

Jack London and Racism in America
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Last edited by tortle0o0 on 13 Nov 2021, 15:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Uchechukwu Okereke »

Thank you for your review. Your review gives off the impression that this would be a great book with a lot of insight into the minds of people who have different opinions about others and since it is a short book, it could be read and finished quickly. Unfortunately, stories like this leave a bad taste in my mouth so I would have to pass.
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Post by John Karanja 1 »

It seems that racism came from some people, while others did the opposite and gave tender love, and lived in the same localities.
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Post by Oscar E Gomez »

A nice review on a difficult issue. Congratulations. For me has been a disappointment to know that a figure like Jack London was racist; but we have to live with what we have around... One more time: A really nice review. Thanks.

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Post by Ifedigbo_C »

This is quite fascinating and educative. Thanks for this review. Definitely getting my hands on the book.
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Post by Paluk Pathania »

I believe that this book will enlighten alot of us about different topics. I'm genuinely curious about Ben's research. Thanks for your review. I liked it!^^
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Post by Steven Springett »

Your review has piqued my interest and I will pursue! You would probably enjoy his Memoir " John Barleycorn" (1903) if you can get hold of a print.
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Post by Bigwig1973 »

I had never heard this about Jack London! Now, I'm thinking back to books of his I've read, trying to recall if anything particular stands out. People wrote differently back then, so it's hard to differentiate what is racism and what is a reflection of the times. Either way, it seems this would be an interesting read and might provide a different or additional perspective on Jack London! I've very curious to read this book after reading your review!
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