Jack London (1876-1916) was born in squalor and rose to become one of the most recognized names in American literature. London's travel and adventure stories have made him a favorite not only among young American boys, but also among scholars and authors like George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway because of his ability to infuse his writing with his own unique philosophical beliefs. As an ardent Socialist, London's views were an often overwhelming mix of Nietzsche, Marx and Darwin's theories on evolution and society, in whom he was thoroughly well-read. His 1913 novel, "The Valley of the Moon", chronicles the journey of a working-class couple, Billy and Saxon, who leave Oakland, CA in the midst of labor strife to search for suitable farmland farther north. They find what they're looking for in the Valley of the Moon, a Native American name for the Sonoma Valley, where Jack London lived on his ranch for the last part of his life.