Ten Days That Shook the World (Twentieth Century Classics)

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9780140182934: Ten Days That Shook the World (Twentieth Century Classics)

John Reed conveys, with the immediacy of cinema, the impression of a whole nation in ferment and disintegration. A contemporary journalist writing in the first flush of revolutionary enthusiasm, he gives us a record of the events in Petrograd in November 1917, when Lenin and the Bolsheviks finally siezed power. Containing verbatim reports both of speeches by leaders and the chance comments of bystanders set against an idealized backcloth of the proletariat soldiers, sailors, and peasants uniting to throw off oppression, Reed's account is the product of passionate involvement.

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About the Author:

John Reed was born on October 22, 1887, in his maternal grandmother's mansion in Portland, Oregon, with Chinese servants in today's Goose Hollow neighborhood. He wrote of paying a nickel to a "Goose Hollowite" (young toughs in a gang in the working-class neighborhood below King's Hill) to keep from being beaten up. A memorial bench overlooks the site of Reed's birthplace in Washington Park [2] His mother, Margaret Green Reed, was the daughter of a leading Portland citizen who had made a fortune through three enterprises: as owner of the first gas works in Oregon, owner of the first pig iron smelter on the west coast, and as second owner of the Portland water works. John's father, Charles Jerome Reed, was the representative of an agricultural machinery manufacturer who had come to town from the East. With his ready wit, he quickly won acceptance in Portland’s business community. The family's wealth came from the Green side, not the Eastern-transplanted Reed side. John Reed had determined to become a journalist and he set out to make his mark in the big city in which that industry was based, New York. Reed made use of a valuable contact he had made at Harvard, the muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens, who appreciated Reed's skills and intellect at an early date. Steffens landed his young admirer an entry-level position on the American Magazine, reading manuscripts, correcting proofs, and later helping with the composition. Reed supplemented his insufficient salary by taking an additional job as the business manager of a new short-lived quarterly magazine called Landscape Architecture.

About the Author:

John Reed (1887-1920) was a journalist, activist, poet, and author. In addition to chronicling the Russian revolution, he reported on US labor strikes, the Mexican revolution, World War I, and was a founder of and international delegate for the Communist Labor Party. He is buried at the Kremlin Wall in Moscow.

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John Reed, A. J. P. Taylor (Introduction), Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Introduction)
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