Later, his longtime political advisor, Dave Powers, said that Kennedy had to travel
with crutches...gritting his teeth when he walked...but then when he came into the room where the crowd was gathered, he was erect and smiling, looking as fit and healthy as the light-heavyweight champion of the world.
In 1905, after gaining fame with his novels and The Sea-Wolf, published this account of his efforts to "climb up out of the working-class" and enjoy "all that gave decency and dignity to life." As you read this essay, consider the causes of London's disillusionment and the significance of the title, "What Life Means to Me."
Originally published as a pamphlet for the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, "What Life Means to Me" appears as the final essay in the collection Revolution and Other Essays by Jack London (Macmillan 1910).