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Ten Days that Shook the World by John Reed

Ten Days that Shook the World (1919)

by John Reed

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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First-person chronicle by John Reed, a legendary journalist who was present at the flash point of the Russian Revolution in 1917
  JRCornell | Dec 8, 2018 |
John Reed's story of the Russian Revolution has become established as possibly the finest account of any revolution, anywhere, and the Penguin Classics edition has the additional allure of two separate introductions: a brief preface written by Lenin himself, and a more analytical essay by the feted historian, A J P Taylor. Interestingly, as Reed had bequeathed the royalties from the book to the government of the Soviet Union, Taylor was not allowed to append his comments until after the copyright had expired.

Reed was both a renowned poet and an experienced journalist, and was also known for the strength of his Socialist views. His account is not, therefore, an impartial account crafted for the later delectation of a neutral reader. He wanted the revolution to succeed, and like Lenin and the other 'professional' revolutionaries who made their way back from exile, felt that the earlier risings that had led to the abdication of the Tsar and the establishment of the Provisional Government under Kerensky, were merely the opening acts.

His account has an immediacy that reads almost like a film script, reflecting his journalistic skills, and his proximity to the actions he recounts. He also published his book within a couple of years of the Revolution, providing one of the earliest coherent accounts available in the West. Taylor suggests that, in some instances, Reed may have massaged the facts, or at least allowed a certain latitude with regard to timings. He does not, however, challenge the validity of Reed's overall portrayal of the events.

One hundred years on, the clarity and excitement of Reed's story remain impressive. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Feb 25, 2018 |
Dez dias que abalaram o mundo aborda os eventos dos primeiros dias da Revolução Russa, quando os bolcheviques tomaram o poder em Petrogrado e depois em toda a Rússia. Não se trata de história escrita com distanciamento, mas de uma crônica que devolve ao leitor toda a atmosfera daqueles tempos de turbulências e bruscas transformações.
  JG_Saez | Jan 28, 2018 |
Book Review from the November 1919 issue of the Socialist Standard:

  Impossibilist | Sep 7, 2017 |
I used this book for occasional reading material available on my phone, so it took me forever to get anywhere with it, and I kept forgetting where I was between readings, until I picked up properly over the past couple of days. I didn't particularly like it, which is at least partly why it took so long for me to finish, but I didn't hate it to give up on it either. ( )
  queen_ypolita | Dec 31, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Reed, JohnAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cavallo, M. G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krupskaya, N. K.Prefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawson, HowardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lenin, V. I.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shahn, BenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, A. J. P.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolfe, Bertram D.Editor, Introduction & Notessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Preface: This book is a slice of intensified history - history as I saw it. It does not pretend to be anything but a detailed account of the November Revolution, when the Bolsheviki, at the head of the workers and soldiers, seized the state power of Russia and placed it in the hands of the Soviets.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140182934, Paperback)

The situation in St. Petersburg was growing more and more tense. The People's Revolution had begun by overthrowing the corrupt Tsarist regime in March 1917, but the workers and the peasants felt the revolution had much farther to go. Tired of fighting a war that meant little to them, the soldiers also grew restless: "When the land belongs to the peasants, and the factories to the workers, and the power to the Soviets, then we'll know we have something to fight for, and we'll fight for it!"

Lenin pressed the Bolsheviks to seize power. On the night of October 24, an organized mass of workers, soldiers, peasants, and sailors stormed the Winter Palace. On the following day, at the opening of the second Congress of Soviets, Trotsky announced the overthrow of the provisional government. Counterrevolutionary forces marched on the capital, but the Revolutionary Army triumphed. After all, "[t]his was their battle, for their world; the officers in command were elected by them. For the moment that incoherent multiple will was one will."

In Ten Days That Shook the World John Reed tells the story of Red October and the Russian revolution from a unique, firsthand perspective. Reed, an American journalist, was on assignment in Russia for The Masses--then the principal radical journal in the United States--and spent his days walking the streets, reading and collecting handbills, newspapers, and posters, and talking to people. As a result, Ten Days crackles with energetic immediacy. At its best moments it reads like a novel: Reed recounts conversations and arguments, details political machinations, and speculates on personal motives. Though this is no mere piece of propaganda, Reed's enthusiasm for the revolution infuses the text (some readers may be put off by Reed's florid prose), casting each counterrevolutionary act in a negative light. Helpful notes flesh out the background for those less familiar with the preceding events and render this a solid work of history. Ten Days That Shook the World is a stirring account of a stirring event. --Sunny Delaney

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:00 -0400)

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This book is the author's eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution. Writing in the first flush of revolutionary enthusiasm, he gives a gripping account of the events in Petrograd in November 1917, when Lenin and the Bolsheviks finally seized power. Containing verbatim reports both of speeches by leaders and of the chance comments of bystanders, and set against an idealized backdrop of soldiers, sailors, peasants, and the proletariat uniting to throw off oppression, his account is the product of passionate involvement and remains an unsurpassed classic of reporting. --Back cover.… (more)

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