Jack London’s' The Road endures as a benchmark in American Letters. A memoir of his experiences as a hobo in the 1890s during a terrible economic depression the United States experienced to that time, he depicts his experiences “bumming” meals, hopping freight trains, "holding down" a train when the crew is trying to throw him off, begging for food and money, raiding oyster beds and selling the mollusks to the local fish markets, and running from the police.
He also tells of the month he spent in New York’s Erie County Penitentiary, which he described as a place of "unprintable horrors," after being arrested for vagrancy.
London’s treasure trove of experiences clearly inspired Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and countless other “road” books that followed.
JACK LONDON (1876-1916) was an activist, journalist, short-story writer, novelist, and one of the most widely translated of American authors. London published over 50 books, and is most famous for The Road, The Sea Wolf, White Fang, The Call of the Wild, Martin Eden and The People of the Abyss.