Jack London (1876-1916) lived a life of excess by conventional standards. Daring, outspoken, politically radical, amazingly imaginative, and emotionally complicated, the author of literary classics such as The Call of the Wild and The Sea-Wolf emerges in Kenneth K. Brandt's new biography as a vital and flawed embodiment of conflicting yearnings. London's exuberant energies propelled him out of the working class to become a world-famous writer by the age of twenty-seven--after stints as a child laborer, an oyster pirate, a Pacific seaman, and a convict. He wrote extensively about his travels to Japan, the Yukon, the slums of London's East End, Korea, Hawaii, and the South Seas. Swiftly paced, intellectually engaging, and richly dramatic, London's writings--bolstered by their wildly clashing philosophical viewpoints derived from thinkers like Nietzsche, Marx, and Darwin--continue to engross readers with their depictions of primal urges, raw sensations, and reformist politics.