Wolf: The Lives of Jack London

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Basic Books, May 25, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
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Jack London was born a working-class, fatherless Californian in 1876. In his youth he was a boundlessly energetic adventurer on the bustling West Coast—by turns playing the role of hobo, sailor, prospector, and oyster pirate. He spent his brief life rapidly accumulating the experiences that would inform his acclaimed, best-selling books: The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and The Sea Wolf.

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.

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About the author (2010)

James L. Haley is the author of The Buffalo War, Passionate Nation, and Sam Houston: A Life, which won nine historical and literary awards. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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