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Jack London - American Writers 57

University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers

Charles Child Walcutt

Jack London - American Writers 57 was first published in 1966. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

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Jack London's Racial Lives

A Critical Biography

Jeanne Campbell Reesman

Jack London (1876-1916), known for his naturalistic and mythic tales, remains among the most popular and influential American writers in the world. Jack London's Racial Lives offers the first full study of the enormously important issue of race in London's life and diverse works, whether set in the Klondike, Hawaii, or the South Seas or during the Russo-Japanese War, the Jack Johnson world heavyweight bouts, or the Mexican Revolution. Jeanne Campbell Reesman explores his choices of genre by analyzing racial content and purpose and judges his literary artistry against a standard of racial tolerance. Although he promoted white superiority in novels and nonfiction, London sharply satirized racism and meaningfully portrayed racial others—most often as protagonists—in his short fiction.

Why the disparity? For London, racial and class identity were intertwined: his formation as an artist began with the mixed "heritage" of his family. His mother taught him racism, but he learned something different from his African American foster mother, Virginia Prentiss. Childhood poverty, shifting racial allegiances, and a "psychology of want" helped construct the many "houses" of race and identity he imagined. Reesman also examines London's socialism, his study of Darwin and Jung, and the illnesses he suffered in the South Seas.

With new readings of The Call of the Wild, Martin Eden, and many other works, such as the explosive Pacific stories, Reesman reveals that London employed many of the same literary tropes of race used by African American writers of his period: the slave narrative, double-consciousness, the tragic mulatto, and ethnic diaspora. Hawaii seemed to inspire his most memorable visions of a common humanity.

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Jack M. Campbell

The Autobiography of New Mexico's First Modern Governor

Jack M. Campbell

Jack M. Campbell (1916–1999) was elected governor of New Mexico in 1962 and reelected in 1964, the first New Mexico governor in twelve years to win a second term. In this engaging autobiography, Campbell traces his life story across major historical events in the country and New Mexico. From humble beginnings on the plains of Kansas through his career as an FBI agent and his first days practicing law in Albuquerque, Campbell writes of his early attraction to the beauty and culture of New Mexico. After serving in the US Marine Corps in World War II, he returned to New Mexico and devoted himself to improving the state’s political and economic circumstances as a legislator, governor, and private citizen. Through a series of impressive accomplishments, he succeeded in bringing the state fully into the twentieth century. Campbell truly was New Mexico’s first modern governor.

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Jack Nicholson

The Early Years

Robert Crane and Christopher Fryer

Originally published as Jack Nicholson: Face to Face in 1975, Jack Nicholson: The Early Years is the first book written about the enigmatic star and the only one to have Nicholson's participation. In 1975 Nicholson was just becoming a household name in spite of having already starred in, written or produced 25 films including classics such as Easy Rider (1969), Five Easy Pieces (1970), The Last Detail (1973) and Chinatown (1974). To date, Nicholson has been nominated for twelve Academy Awards and won three, has garnered seven Golden Globe awards, and took home the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award at the age of 57.

Authors Robert Crane and Christopher Fryer interviewed Nicholson for what began as a thesis for a University of Southern California film class but which quickly morphed into a larger portrait of Nicholson's unique craft. Crane and Fryer conducted their interviews with Nicholson with the intent of showcasing the young star as he saw himself, while also interviewing many of Nicholson's close friends and fellow filmmakers, including Dennis Hopper, Roger Corman, Hal Ashby, Ann-Margret, Robert Evans and Bruce Dern, providing a comprehensive profile of the actor's early years in the industry. The result is a true insider's look at Nicholson not only as a writer, director and actor, but also offers insights into a private man's private life. Jack Nicholson: The Early Years stands as a testament to his incredible success in Hollywood.

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Jack Toffey's War

A Son's Memoir

John J. Toffey

I see this book as the story my father never got to tell,John Toffey writes. And what a remarkable story it is that Lt. Col. Jack Toffey never got to tell.In this moving account of a young man's journey to know a father who went to war in 1942 and never came back, John Toffey weaves memory, history, and his father's vivid letters home into a fascinating tale of a family, a war, and the threads that connect them.John Toffey was nine when his father's National Guard outfit was mobilized. For two years Toffey, his mother, and his sister moved from post to post before his dad shipped out-to North Africa, fighting the Vichy French in Morocco, then the Germans in Tunisia, where he was wounded. In July 1943 he went back to war, leading an infantry battalion in the invasions of Sicily and southern Italy. In January 1944 he landed his battalion at Anzio and was wounded again. After a long, bitter stalemate, Toffey's regiment led Mark Clark's push on Rome. On June 3, 1944, Jack Toffey was killed in the hill town of Palestrina, one day before the Allies marched intoRome. In a brutal campaign, Jack Toffey had commanded a combat battalion longer than any other officer in the Mediterranean theater.Only in 1996, when his father's letters were discovered, did John Toffey begin to piece together what happened to his father. And he tells this contested story of Allied success and failure with drama, steely reserve, and balance, adding an invaluable perspective to the portrait of Jack Toffey created by Rick Atkinson in his bestselling Day of Battle. This book is also a lovingly crafted portrait of home front Ohio, and how a young boy, his sister, and his mother waited out their war, scanning newspapers and magazines for news of Dad and devouring letters full of easy humor and expressions of love for and pride in his family and dreams of a good life after the war.

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Jacked Up and Unjust

Pacific Islander Teens Confront Violent Legacies

Prof. Katherine Irwin

In the context of two hundred years of American colonial control in the Pacific, Irwin and Umemoto shed light on the experiences of today’s inner city and rural girls and boys in Hawai‘i who face racism, sexism, poverty, and political neglect. Based on nine years of ethnographic research, the authors highlight how legacies of injustice endure as current challenges in the present, prompting teens to fight for dignity and the chance to thrive in America, a nation that the youth describe as inherently “jacked up” and “unjust.” While the story begins with the youth battling multiple contingencies, it ends on a hopeful note, with many of the teens overcoming numerous hardships, often with the guidance of steadfast, caring adults.

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Jackknife

New and Selected Poems

by Jan Beatty

In Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, Beatty travels the turns and collisions of over twenty years of work. She moves from first-person narratives to poems that straddle the page in fragments, to lines that sprawl with long lines of train tracks. Always landing in meaning, we are inside the body—not in a confessional voice, not autobiography—but arriving through the expanded, exploded image of many stories and genders. The new poems leap imagistically from the known world to the purely imagined, as in the voice in "Abortion with Gun Barrel": "I am the counselor,/there are cracks in the barrel of the gun/there is aiming/shots of sorrow—/ shots of light.” Commitment to a rabid feminist voice continues, but arrival has a new ring to it, with beginnings rescripted: “I am a bastard./I walk around in this body of mine." Beatty’s fascination with the highway and the breakout West jackknifes at the crossroads of the brutal and the white plains of loss—the body torn down and resurrected in the twenty first century.

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The Jackson County War

Reconstruction and Resistance in Post-Civil War Florida

The Jackson County War offers original conclusions explaining why Jackson County became the bloodiest region in Reconstruction Florida and is the first book-length treatment of the subject.
 
From early 1869 through the end of 1871, citizens of Jackson County, Florida, slaughtered their neighbors by the score. The nearly threeyear frenzy of bloodshed became known as the Jackson County War. The killings, close to one hundred and by some estimates twice that number, brought Jackson County the notoriety of being the most violent county in Florida during the Reconstruction era.  Daniel R. Weinfeld has made a thorough investigation of contemporary accounts. He adds an assessment of recently discovered information, and presents a critical evaluation of the standard secondary sources.
 
The Jackson County War focuses on the role of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the emergence of white “Regulators,” and the development of African American political consciousness and leadership. It follows the community’s descent after the Civil War into disorder punctuated by furious outbursts of violence until the county settled into uneasy stability seven years later. The Jackson County War emerges as an emblem of all that could and did go wrong in the uneasy years after Appomattox and that left a residue of hatred and fear that endured for generations.

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A Jackson Man

Amos Kendall and the Rise of American Democracy

Donald B. Cole

A rare, fascinating personality emerges in Donald B. Cole’s biography of Amos Kendall (1789–1869), the reputed intellectual engine behind Andrew Jackson’s administration and an influential figure in the transformation of young America from an agrarian republic to a capitalist democracy. After helping Jackson win the election of 1828, Kendall became the president’s chief advisor—speech writer, postmaster general, and author of the famous veto of the bill to recharter the Bank of the United States. Born on a small Massachusetts farm and educated at Dartmouth, Kendall moved to Kentucky as a young man to seek his fortune and eventually became one of the very few nationally prominent antebellum politicians who successfully combined northern origins and southern experience. Kendall’s role in democratizing American politics is shown in a compelling narrative of his evolution from a republican idealist to a democratic individualist who contributed greatly to the rise of the Democratic party. His innovative campaign techniques and direct appeals to ordinary voters helped attract Americans to the polls; yet Kendall, like many of his contemporaries, also had a limited egalitarian vision that excluded the participation of women, African Americans, and Native Americans. In that sense, Cole demonstrates, Kendall was a man of his time, in an era of unprecedented transformations in politics, economics, and technology. Unforgettable in appearance and manner—a gaunt, white-haired, reclusive hypochondriac—Kendall inspired mystery as well as awe in admirers and enemies. He exemplified the American self-made man in his rise from a struggling jack-of-all-trades to a wealthy Washingtonian. His story also offers a fresh look at important elements of the antebellum communications revolution: he was deeply involved in the expansion of the post office and in the rise of the telegraph, and as a philanthropist he founded the school for the deaf that became Gallaudet College. The first biography of Kendall, this superbly written and researched volume unfolds the rise of American democracy and the culture that created it.

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The Jackson Project

War in the American Workplace

by Phil Cohen

In the spring of 1989, union organizer Phil Cohen journeyed to Jackson, Tennessee, to sort out the troubled situation at a historic cotton mill. His task as a representative of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union was to rebuild a failing local and the problems were daunting; an anti-union company in financial disarray, sharply declining union membership, and myriad workplace grievances. In the tumultuous months ahead, ownership of the plant twice switched hands, and he would come to fear for his life and consider desperate measures to salvage the union’s cause.

In this riveting memoir, Cohen takes the reader from the union hall and factory gates to the bargaining table and courtroom, and ultimately to the picket line. We see him winning the trust of disillusioned union members, negotiating with a hostile employer and its high-powered legal counsel, and hitting the pavement with leaflets and union cards in hand. We get to know the millworkers with whom he formed close bonds, including a stormy romance with a young woman at the plant. His up-close account of the struggle brims with telling descriptions of the negotiating process, the grinding work at the textile mill, the lives of its employees outside the workplace, and the grim realities of union busting in America. When the organizer’s four-year-old daughter accompanies him to the field, a unique an unexpected dimension is added to the chronicle.
           
A compelling, dramatic story that alternated between major triumphs and frustrating setbacks, The Jackson Project provides a rare look at the labor movement in the American South from an insider’s perspective.
 

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