Moscow; Leningrad: Co-operative publishing society of foreign workers in the U. S. S. R., 1934. Item #1331
, 308 pp. 19,5x13,5 cm. Wrappers with illustrated dust-jacket. Tears and soiling to the dustjacket. Otherwise in a very good condition.
Scarce especially with dust-jacket. First edition. 1 of 5,000 copies. Editor L. Talmy. Technical editor H. Canter.
Reading for the foreigners living in the Soviet Union. Jack London’s political novel The Iron Heel was first published in 1908 and was immediately christened as the earliest modern dystopian
novel. Written in the form of a diary, the book narrates the story of the terrible oppressions of an American oligarchy at the beginning of the twentieth century, and the struggles of a socialist revolutionary movement. The novel echoed London’s political ideas and defended his socialist views on behalf of the protagonist of the story.
The Russian translation of The Iron Heel first appeared in 1912 (by Zinoviy Lvovsky), long before the establishment of the Soviet rule. Since then, the novel was reissued several times and was first published in its original English language in 1934 by the co-operative publishing society of foreign workers in the U. S. S. R. The Soviet Union experienced a major wave of immigration in the period from 1917 to 1939. Approximately 70,000 to 80,000 foreign workers, specialists, and political exiles went to live and work in the Communist country. Against this background, the Soviet authorities realized the necessity of the socialist propaganda directed at foreigners living within the country and founded the co-operative publishing society of foreign workers in the U. S. S. R. in 1931. The publishing house was entrusted with the publication in foreign languages and the distribution of Marxist-Leninist, educational, fiction and reference literature among foreign workers, specialists and students located on the territory of the USSR.
An influential socialist of his day, Jack London was one of the few American authors with a stamp of approval to be read in the Soviet Union. In fact, London was among those few writers whose works have been published in the USSR in ten million or more copies (18.6 million copies) since 1918 until 1957. He was also the most famous foreign author in regards to the number of the titles and editions published in the Soviet Union (662 with 18,588,000 copies in 32 languages; the second was Victor Hugo with 362 editions with 13,184,000 copies in 45 languages) in the aforementioned timeframe.