http://llwforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/12.-TENORM-Disposal-Options-in-North-Dakota-Dale-Patrick.pptx.Will download as a PDF or slide presentation.
I finished Chasing the Moon over the weekend; returned it to the library today. Considering buying my own copy; it was that good.
This week's book -- Wolf: The Lives of Jack London, James L. Haley, c. 2010.
From the this week's book's rreface, pages ix - x:
Nearly a decade before the death of Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain's place as America's favorite author was usurped by a California adventurer not yet thirty years old.
In 1902, Jack London was regarded merely as an up-and-coming short story craftsman, but during the following year he took the American literary stage by storm with no fewer than three significant books: an introspective probe into the nature of affection and relationships in The Kempton-Wace Letters; a conscience-searing cri de coeur for social justice in The People of the Abyss; and, then, the major sensation, a muscular Alaskan adventure novel titles The Call of the Wild. Following these in 1904 with the darkly hair-raising The Sea-Wolf, London fast became a full-fledged literary phenomenon, a front-age celebrity, and the highest-paid writer in America.
The mass of readers who lionized the gentle humor of Mark Twain were unaware that he had hidden his true feelings from them -- his anguish at the human condition and his disgust with the moral failure of American capitalism and militarism. London shared these feelings, but in him the readership encountered a vastly different artist.
He was an angry young man who could enthrall them with his adventure stories, but he also wrote flame-throwing jeremiads against the social injustices of his day. London's early circumstances -- illegitimacy and poverty, years of brutish child labor and numerous personal and galling experiences with class prejudice -- kindled a socialist fire in his belly that never abated
After he attained the national stage, his dismay was unassuageable that the public who adored his novels and stories did not care to hear his political opinions. After his death, memory of his politics was conveniently erased and he was refashioned as the quintessential author of boys' adventure stories. He thus became, and remains, perhaps the most misunderstood figure in the American literary canon. (He is not the only hero in our historical pantheon to have been given a bath before inclusion there -- Charles Lindbergh comes to mind, from the right, and Helen Keller, from the left.)
London's books and stories were wildly popular during his lifetime, and just as quickly dismissed as a fad after his untimely death at age forty in1916. During the "Red Scares" of the 1920s and 1950s his attacks on capitalism called his American loyalties so much into question that, though he was long dead, the FBI opened a dossier on him. Too popular to suppress, he was retained as a literary icon of juvenile adventure, and his keen sense of social justice was quietly forgotten, except by college professors and dedicated socialists.
Jack London was a socialist not because he was lazy or sought to live on the labor of others; few American writers have ever worked harder to educate and improve themselves, or have produced a more prolific stream of work. He was a socialist because of the manifest evil that he saw result from the abuses of unrestrained capitalism -- the operative word being "unrestrained."
London himself was a lifelong capitalist, an entrepreneur; he built up a successful ranch with innovative demonstration projects, he licensed his famous name to commercial products, he took risks and did not whine when gambles failed. But the United States of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was the heyday of the ugliest excesses of unfettered, laissez-faire capitalism, the "Gilded Age" (Mark Twain's term) of corporate oligarchy, of worker abuse and oppression. The result was breathtaking social injustice as vividly displayed as it is in today's very comparable era (this book c. date of 2010, during the Obama administration, but written during the Bush II administration). London witnessed the lower-class laborers slaving all their lives with no chance of getting an even break, and it represented to him a betrayal of the American dream that he unforgivingly set his face against.
When London resigned from the American Socialist Party not long before his death, it was not because he had lost his zeal; he resigned because its members had lost theirs.And the preface continues for several more pages written by the author in Austin, Texas, and dated November, 2009.
Note for the Granddaughters