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John Reed (1) (1887–1920)

Autor(a) de Ten Days that Shook the World

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25+ Works 3,120 Membros 46 Reviews 3 Favorited

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 mostrar mais Wall in Moscow. mostrar menos

Obras de John Reed

Ten Days that Shook the World (1919) 2,489 cópias, 35 resenhas
Insurgent Mexico (1914) 367 cópias, 5 resenhas
The War in Eastern Europe (1916) 82 cópias, 4 resenhas
The Collected Works of John Reed (1995) 59 cópias, 1 resenha
Collected Poems (1985) 14 cópias
John Reed for the Masses (1987) 4 cópias
Pancho Villa (2009) 4 cópias

Associated Works

World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It (1918) — Contribuinte — 199 cópias, 1 resenha
The Mammoth Book of True War Stories (1992) — Contribuinte — 88 cópias
Gringos in Mexico: An Anthology (1988) — Contribuinte — 10 cópias
Our lives : American labor stories — Contribuinte — 6 cópias
John -'Ten Days That Shook the World — Original author — 1 exemplar(es)

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After more than a century, I think we can look back and appreciate John Reed's effort at portraying the revolution in Russia (or All-Russia, or the former Russian Empire). The author does not hide his feelings, he is a convinced pro-Bolshevik narrator, intervening and telling us why whatever the liberals or the Menshevik are saying is not true. Nothing against that, but, of course, once we know all of the terrible circumstances that later accompanied the USSR, the scenes are quite dramatic.
Something that I found interesting was that it seems that communication in those times was very fast, as the envoys from the front or from the other soviets could appear in those few days and comment on things in such an accurate way. Should we be a little suspicious? I have not read a critique of this book, or other historical works on this exact period, so I don't know how facts agree with the telling. I guess I'm trying to say that, as with all passionate works, it pays to take a step back and confront what we know from now with the story we are told.
Another noteworthy point, I think, is the impression of carelessness or improvisation in the actions of the real fighters (that is naturally a common phenomenon, as we cannot prepare for a revolution as for a walk in the park; there are always new incidents and surprises.
This is a book about what Reed saw, heard, lived through, so it's not, except in a few extraordinary pages, about the fights, the battles; it is indeed, in brilliant pages, about the dead in the attack on the Kremlin. That impressed me for its depth of feeling.
Another point: It's quite curious how, after defending the possibility of independence of the nations in the Russian Empire, when these nations want to have their freedom, it's the capitalists who have decided that, and they must be fought so the nations stay under Russian (or Bolshevik) rule. Some of the comment sound just like today's Putin's propaganda. Not many things have changed in that sense.
Finally, about the edition: this is a facsimile of the book from 1919, so a pencil is a good addition to the reading (as should be in any case), to amend the typos. In case someone is worried about the word shveitzari, which I couldn't find except as "Swiss", my best guess is that it was a kind of usher in the palaces. There is no explanation in the book, and it kept me looking for quite some time. I guess this explains more about me than the book, though.
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Marcado
PacoMD | outras 34 resenhas | Jul 16, 2024 |
Told by the young American social revolutionary on ground in Russia during the revolution this is probably as detailed book of the events taking place in Petrograd and Moscow during the crucial period of the revolution as we will ever have.

Rise of the Bolshevik's to power was not a clean cut by any means and we follow how various Socialist parties (Bolshevik's being on a a radical left end of the spectrum) fight for overall control of the army, navy and The Revolution. While it is very clear where the sympathies of John Reed are we are given views of the opposition (even conservatives and the ever "sneaky" and "backstabbing" bourgeoisie) although always with additional sarcastic comment or rather bad presentation of the speaker (bald, small in stature, horrible orator etc etc). But again we are given their views which is enormous contribution to narrative, especially considering that in today's political climate there is no way opposition would ever be given opportunity to say anything.

While underlying cause for the revolution were very difficult living conditions for more than three quarters of people in Imperial Russia nothing happened spontaneously (does anything?). It was not a unanimous rise of people and it took a while to get the correct direction and finally for Bolshevik's to take over everything.

As events progress there is no more place for compromise, enemies of the Bolshevik's are portrayed more and more like cartoon villains while Bolshevik's are portrayed as heroes for the people that are literary dropping tired off their feet but using superhuman strength to continuously push on 'til the ultimate victory.

And this would be my biggest issue with the book. But then again victors write history, right? I especially liked the author's faith in the fighters for the revolution (while clinging to the security pass in order not to be friendly fire casualty or forgotten casualty of conflict - in this remark very much like modern media but unlike them he truly believed in the cause and I understand him, you can never be too safe, right?).

That aside author manages to capture the hard living conditions of ordinary man, woman and child who are the true believers (and major victims int he entire process) here (politicians in this story (even through eyes of John Reed) are no different than politicians today - tyrants in disguise waiting for their chance to rule everyone else) - conditions under Tsar regime was horrendous for everyone not of noble origin and it was just matter of time when people will raise up in arms and bring everything down. When it comes to intelligentsia (or what we call today intellectuals) - they were as useful as they are today. Meaning they are not useful for anything but philosophizing and unable to do anything concrete. As a matter of fact when you think of politicians, intellectuals and so called experts (social or science) that are the loudest when situation is dire, we have exactly the same state today, right? Bunch of self-serving people that are only on the lookout for their own benefits and so disconnected from their very constituent that is sends chills through every sane men or women.

And this makes this book so sad and cautionary in retrospective. While reading it you cannot doubt the fire burning in John Reed and working class in general, their unwavering faith in Bolshevik party and their political goals. This makes it worse when one figures out that Bolsheviks will make a radical U turn in less than 20 years and defecate on all their ideals while doing it, even purging all the true believers, people aiming for true social justice and reforms, and finally ending up creating tyranny under the guise of democracy and democratic process.

This brings back events from the French Revolution, another revolution started due to outright atrocious conditions of life for lower classes that ate its own children in the end - deposed the King and his Court and somewhere in the process of passing power to the people (while using terror as everyday tool for solving political issues and venting out people that just did not get what they were promised) decided that Emperor is way to go and soon became all the opposite of what they fought for in the beginning.
As I see it only people benefiting from the revolution are people outside the countries where revolution takes place because governments decide that it is good thing to pay some attention to what is going on lower decks so same things do not happen in their own backyard.

Very important cautionary tale how noble intentions and reforms can very easily be overtaken by corrupting power-hungry forces. Again something to think about in these days, eh? Especially since economical division is becoming more and more visible even in our enlightened times.

Recommended to anyone interested in the period and inner events of the revolutionary process.
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Marcado
Zare | outras 34 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |
John Reed, a Harvard graduate from a rather middle-class background in Portland, Oregon, had a splendidly turbulent life as a labour activist associated with the IWW, a war correspondent in the Mexican Revolution and World War I, and most of all as a first-hand observer of the Russian revolution (his account in Ten days that shook the world remains his best-known work). Frequently shot at or arrested, constantly smuggling himself over frontiers, engaged in romances with several well-known revolutionaries, etc., etc. ... he was obviously very unlucky to meet his end so prosaically with a typhus infection in Moscow in 1920, but he was one of the very few Americans to get a grave of honour in the Kremlin.

This collection, originally issued by Seven Seas in the early sixties and republished in slightly expanded form by City Lights in 1975, brings together some of his early short fiction and a few shorter journalistic pieces from Mexico and Russia not previously published in book form. Ferlinghetti added his autobiographical essay "Almost thirty" (1917) to round out the collection.

I was most struck by the New York stories in the first part of the book, mostly written around 1910-1912, and obviously originating as lightly fictionalised versions of conversations he had with real prostitutes and homeless people on the streets of Greenwich Village. The slightly arch, Edwardian style is oddly reminiscent of very early P G Wodehouse, but the content is anything but "literary" in that sense: he is full of respect for the people he is talking to and lets them tell their own stories without a trace of patronising superiority, and without any squeamishness about telling it like it is. Nobody who read these stories would have had any doubts about what these women were doing to earn money on the streets (which is possibly why they remained largely unpublished for so long).

Elsewhere, Reed uses the same technique of letting his characters tell their stories in their own words rather more ironically: in "Mac - American" he lets an American in Mexico rant away over a series of drinks with no comment from the narrator, gradually revealing himself as more and more of a racist, up to the point where Mac tells us about the orgasmic pleasure of joining a lynch-mob. And in the back-to-back stories "John Bull in America", two British men on their way home to enlist in the Great War are left floundering, exposing the absence of any sane reason for wanting to fight.

The more directly political pieces seemed rather less original in form than these character-studies, but I was left with the strong feeling that I would like to read more from Reed. Which is always a good note on which to finish a book!
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Marcado
thorold | Oct 20, 2023 |
CUPRINS

1. Prefata la editia americana - pag. 5
2. Prefata la editia rusa - pag. 6
3. Prefata - pag. 9
4. Note si explicatii - pag. 14

5. Capitolul 1. Fundalul - pag. 25
6. Capitolul 2. Furtuna se apropie - pag. 37
7. Capitolul 3. In ajun - pag. 55
8. Capitolul 4. Caderea guvernului provizoriu - pag. 77
9. Capitolul 5. Cu toate fortele inainte ! - pag. 102
10. Capitolul 6. Comitetul salvarii - pag. 126
11. Capitolul 7. Frontul revolutionar - pag. 143
12. Capitolul 8. Contrarevolutia - pag. 157
13. Capitolul 9. Victoria - pag. 173
14. Capitolul 10. Moscova - pag. 191
15. Capitolul 11. Cucerirea puterii - pag. 201
16. Capitolul 12. Congresul taranilor - pag. 222

17. Anexe - pag. 237
18. Postfata Editurii de Stat pentru Literatura Politica din Moscova - pag. 321
19. D. Williams. Biografia lui John Reed - pag. 329
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Toma_Radu_Szoha | outras 34 resenhas | Apr 24, 2023 |

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Obras
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7
Membros
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