The JON Properties/Van Zandt Restorations Lecture
Jack London is best known to Americans today as the author of much-loved adventure books such as The Call of the Wild and White Fang. Through such writings, London became the best-selling writer in America in the early twentieth century. Despite his success, however, he never got over the impact of being born poor and illegitimate. That background continued to influence his life, leading him to become a passionate and lifelong advocate for social justice, making him in the process perhaps the most prominent (and most controversial) American socialist of his day. This lecture will look not only at his tumultuous life (which ended at the age of forty), but also at his literary legacy that paved the way for other socially aware authors such as Sinclair Lewis and John Steinbeck.
Speaker: James L. Haley
Currently a resident of Austin, Texas, James L. Haley was born in Tulsa and grew up near Fort Worth, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in political science. After graduate study at the University of Texas School of Law, he resigned to concentrate on a literary career. His first national publication came at the mere age of nineteen, with a biography of the circus elephant Jumbo for American Heritage Magazine. His subsequent publications have been largely in the field of western U.S. history, including the definitive biography of Sam Houston, which won nine historical and literary awards. He has also published three novels and is heavily engaged as a speaker on historical, literary, and teaching topics.