At the ages of maybe 11 and 12, I enjoyed other adventure writers, such as Zane Gray and H. Rider Haggard. But the writer who made the biggest impact on me at that period was Jack London. I did like The Call of the Wild, but the most important book for me was The Sea Wolf, which I first read in the summer between sixth and seventh grade. The conversations between the soft, wealthy, humanitarian Humphrey van Weyden (“Hump”) and the hard, individualistic, self-serving Wolf Larsen set me thinking about the complexities of social and political philosophy. Although London apparently meant to oppose the standpoint represented by Larsen, he and his fictional protagonist, van Weyden, were both drawn to the charismatic sea captain.