Summary: Did Jack London's dystopian novel, The Iron Heel, published in 1908, influence Zamyatin's We?
Yevgeny Zamyatin's novel, We, completed in 1921 and published in English in 1924, is one of the earliest dystopian novels, and usually called a significant influence on George Orwell's 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, published in 1932.
Huxley denied any connection to We, saying that Brave New World was written in response to H. G. Wells's utopian works long before he read We. Wells was surely an influence on every later writer in the field and many outside as well.
Having edited Wells's works in Russian, Zamyatin was also certainly influenced by him. But Orwell and Kurt Vonnegut both believed Zamyatin had an impact on Huxley, with Orwell going so far as to say that Huxley was lying. — Wikipedia
But who were the dystopian writers before Zamyatin that might have influenced him?
Of course, it may not have been necessary. Living in the Soviet Union at that time must have been inspiration enough. It's not a coincidence that We wasn't published in the Soviet Union until 1988. It was an unpalatable and unwelcome critique of the government.
Still, there were a few dystopian writers positioned to have impacted Zamyatin.
Andrei Marsov had a dystopian novel, Love in the Fog of the Future, published in 1924, but that's a little too late. Unless he started writing several years earlier and they knew each other well enough to share early drafts, he couldn't have had an effect on Zamyatin. — Wikipedia
I know of one other writer who published a dystopian novel well before Zamyatin. Jack London's The Iron Heel was published in 1908, over a decade before Zamyatin completed We. The book details the rise of an oligarchic tyranny in the United States. It's said to have influenced Orwell. — The Iron Heel
Did Zamyatin read it? Could it have spurred the creation of We? Frankly, it's over my head, but I'm hoping someone here might know.