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The People of the Abyss


In the summer of 1902, respected American author Jack London (1876-1916), previously known for his descriptions of life during the Klondike Gold Rush, spent two months living 'down by the docks' in London's East End among the city's poorest residents. During this time he often slept in workhouses or on the streets, seeing first-hand how the impoverished struggled daily for adequate food, clothing and shelter while the rest of the city lived in relative prosperity - a prosperity which the author believed was gained at the expense of the poor. One of the earliest eyewitness descriptions of life in the slums of London, this book would influence later socially minded authors such as George Orwell. The text is also illustrated with photographs of the places and people mentioned, offering an important insight into the living conditions of the poor at the dawn of the twentieth century. Hide synopsis

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Reviews of The People of the Abyss

Overall customer rating: 4.000

Muckraking Is Good Stuff

by dekesolomon on Feb 24, 2010

When somebody says ?muckraker,? I recall names such as Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbell, Izzy Stone and a few others. I never thought of Jack London in that context because books I associated with his name ("White Fang," et al.) were works of adventure fiction. I was ... More


People of the Abyss

by Raech on Oct 18, 2007

In 1903 Jack London went to live in a slum in the worst area in London's East End, known as "the Abyss." For several months he explored the maze of slums, rubbing shoulders with the masses of poverty-stricken people, learning firsthand what it was like to live literally hand to mouth. His documentary ... More

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