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The Iron Heel: London's prophecy about the future of the U.S.

The book cover I plan on redesigning is The Iron Heel, by Jack London. I've always loved dystopian novels, primarily because of the prophetic nature and eerie way in which the themes apply more aptly to modern society.

"… Part dystopian fantasy, part radical socialist tract, The Iron Heel offers a grim depiction of warfare between the classes in America and around the globe. Battling the shadowy organization known as 'the Iron Heel,' [Jack] London's fictional band of revolutionists exposes how this state oligarchy maintains hegemony by controlling the churches, the schools, the press, and the courts. What begins as a war of words between Ernest Everhard and his capitalist foes ends in scenes of harrowing violence as the Iron Heel moves to crush all opposition to its power. Originally published nearly a hundred years ago, the novel remains uncannily prophetic in its anticipation of many features of the past century - including the rise of fascism, the emergence of domestic terrorism, and the growth of centralized government surveillance and authority."

As for existing covers…

So many covers have relied so heavily on the obvious imagery of the boot that can be gleaned from the word "heel" in the title and the single nature of oppresion this image can convey.

Others have kept it simple using simple text. The latter of these two using a subtle shadow to convey the weight and oppressive force of "the Iron Heel."

The copy of the book I own is the Penguin Classic shown here. These covers are based upon the militant sense of the novel, showing or implying violence.

And then, there have been covers which seem to have very little to no concept about the content of this story. The scene on the first cover appears to take place in Europe (Greece or Rome?) and the second looks like it would be appropriate for others of London's novels. The imagery of canine paw prints or feathers or mountains applying more to Call of the Wild or White Fang.

I hope to reflect more of the ideologies of this book and intend not to rely upon the boot imagery. I can't help but recognize the often recurring color scheme of red, black, and white. This seems to be appropriate, considering the nature of the polarity of forces in this story and the significance of red's representation of several elements to the story.

I look forward to rereading this book again this weekend and extracting themes to play around with.

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