Jack London: A Life

Front Cover
Macmillan, Feb 15, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 334 pages
1 Review

Raised in poverty as an illegitimate child, Jack London dropped out of school to support his mother, working in mind-deadening jobs that would foster a lifelong interest in socialism. Brilliant and self-taught, he haunted California's waterside bars, brawling with drunken sailors and learning about love from prostitutes. His lust for adventure took him from the beaches of Hawaii to the gold fields of Alaska, where he experienced firsthand the struggles for survival he would later immortalize in classics like White Fang and The Call of the Wild.

A hard-drinking womanizer with children to support, Jack London was no stranger to passion when he met and married Charmian Kittredge, the love of his life. Despite his adventurous past, London had never before met a woman like Charmian; she adored fornication and boxing, and willingly risked life and limb to sail and explore. She typed his manuscripts while he churned out novels, serving as his inspiration and his critic.

Lover, fighter, and onetime hobo, Jack London lived large and died before he was forty. This is a rare biography, from bestselling historian Alex Kershaw, that proves the truth can be more fascinating--and a far greater adventure--than a fiction.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

It has been my experience of late that Alex Kershaw is not above obfuscating in the interrest of selling books. I pointed out some inaccuracies that he made in an WW2 article, and was told to "FUCK OFF TWAT"! This should tell everyone about his character, and thus his credibility as a writer!!! I can only hope that didn't to forget to disclose the fact that Jack London was also a Racist, and a Biggot!! This has been documented in letters London wrote re: boxing great Jack Johnson, and the need to defend the honor of the white race to the then retired former white champion!! Lets stick to the facts Alex, just the facts! 

Other editions - View all

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Alex Kershaw has been a feature writer for The Weekend Guardian and the Sunday Times, and a contributing editor at GQ. He has authored several books, including the New York Times-bestselling WWII histories The Bedford Boys and The Longest Winter, and the biographies Jack London: A Life and Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa.

Bibliographic information