John Barleycorn

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As close to an autobiography as Jack London ever wrote, John Barleycorn recounts the author's lifelong struggle with alcohol. In this brutally honest memoir, which takes its title from the British folksong that personifies the source of whiskey and beer, London writes of alcohol as his friend and his enemy, an "august companion" and a "red-handed killer." In an age when alcoholism was viewed as a genetic weakness, London's frank, ahead-of-its-time treatment of his struggles tarnished his sterling reputation as a paragon of all-American manhood.
The book created a sensation upon its 1913 publication and became a powerful tool of the temperance movement. More than a screed against demon rum, however, the tale recounts London's years as a sailor, explorer, and frontiersman up and down the West Coast, from Southern California to Alaska. Rich in anecdotes and written in a captivating style, the book also offers compelling insights into London's life as a rugged adventurer and popular writer.
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ISBN:
9780486829586
9781596257924
9781620120255
9781625585745
9781528787413
9781681958910
9781781666531
9781513275185
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Grouped Work ID229a30d0-7528-afa6-1d11-0a334d0cf798
Grouping Titlejohn barleycorn
Grouping Authorjack london
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-07-31 04:52:02AM
Last Indexed2021-07-31 06:14:01AM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

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display_descriptionWrestling with the disease of alcoholism for most of his life, Jack London tells all in his autobiography John Barleycorn. Beginning with a discussion of the prohibition movement and its effects, London explores the ways that alcohol affects daily life in the Victorian era. Because there were not many forms of affordable entertainment or reliable communication, bars were the perfect spot for social activity. People were able to sit and drink, enjoying themselves while hearing the gossip and news from the other townspeople. However, this social practice can quickly deteriorate into a disease that infects every aspect of life, damaging those at home, threatening financial security, and even risking their safety. From personal experience, London explains what being an alcoholic is like with stories of humor and shame delivered with sharp accuracy. While doing so, John Barleycorn includes tales of London's interesting and numerous careers, such his time as a sailor, oyster pirate, and gold miner. Set to the vivid backdrop of the California Bay Area, he discloses his wildest stories and paints a portrait of his stomping grounds. Featuring themes of masculinity and friendship, John Barleycorn possesses a duality of lauding the social power of alcohol while warning against falling for its addictive qualities. The fine line between enjoying a drink and struggling alcoholism is characterized in clear prose and demonstrative narratives as London both brags about and laments his personal experiences with the substance. Employing thoughtful, honest, and exceptional prose, Jack London's John Barleycorn made a debut as one of the first intelligent and empathetic narratives about alcoholism. With both emotional and historical significance, London explores the unfortunately common disease while also explaining the cultural impact of alcohol in the 19th century, bleeding even to modern times. Both original and profound, John Barleycorn has earned a reputation for leaving audiences stunned by its emotional and frank narrative.
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subject_facetAlcoholics -- United States -- Biography
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography
Drinking of alcoholic beverages -- United States
Electronic books
Literary Figures
London, Jack, -- 1876-1916
Personal Memoirs
title_displayJohn Barleycorn
title_fullJohn Barleycorn
John Barleycorn [electronic resource] / Jack London
John Barleycorn [electronic resource] London, Jack, 1876-1916,
John Barleycorn [electronic resource] London, Jack, 1876-1916.
John Barleycorn [electronic resource] London, Jack.
John barleycorn [electronic resource] / Jack London
title_shortJohn Barleycorn
topic_facetAlcoholics
Authors, American
Classic Literature
Drinking of alcoholic beverages
Electronic books
Fiction
Literary Figures
London, Jack
Personal Memoirs