Jack London cut a mythic figure across the American landscape of the early twentieth century. But throughout his colorful life–from his teenage years as an oyster pirate to his various incarnations as a well-traveled seaman, Yukon gold prospector, waterfront brawler, unemployed vagrant, impassioned socialist, and celebrated writer–he retained a predilection for drinking on a prodigious scale. London’s classic "alcoholic memoirs"–the closest thing to an autobiography he ever wrote–are a startlingly honest and vivid account of his life not only as a drinker, but also as a storied adventurer. Richly anecdotal and beautifully written, John Barleycorn stands as the earliest intelligent treatment of alcohol in American literature, and as an intensely moving document of one of America’s finest writers. This Modern Library Paperback Classic includes illustrations from the original edition.
About the Author
Jack London (1876-1916) was an American writer who produced two hundred short stories, more than four hundred nonfiction pieces, twenty novels, and three full-length plays in less than two decades. His best-known works include The Call of the Wild, The Sea Wolf, and White Fang.
William Kornblum is a professor of sociology at the City University of New York. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Chicago and was among the nation's first Peace Corps volunteers. He is the author of numerous scholarly books and articles on the people of New York. A native New Yorker, he's been sailing around the city his whole life.
"Assuredly one of the most useful, as well as one of the most entertaining books ever penned by a man."