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John Reed (1) (1887–1920)

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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 vis mere Wall in Moscow. vis mindre

Værker af John Reed

Ti dage der rystede verden (1919) 2,439 eksemplarer
Storm over Mexico (1914) 360 eksemplarer
The War in Eastern Europe (1916) 80 eksemplarer
The Collected Works of John Reed (1995) 56 eksemplarer
Collected Poems (1985) 13 eksemplarer
John Reed for the Masses (1987) 4 eksemplarer
Pancho Villa (2009) 4 eksemplarer
America in fiamme 2 eksemplarer
An anthology 2 eksemplarer

Associated Works

World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It (1918) — Bidragyder — 189 eksemplarer
The Mammoth Book of True War Stories (1992) — Bidragyder — 87 eksemplarer
Gringos in Mexico: An Anthology (1988) — Bidragyder — 10 eksemplarer
Our lives : American labor stories — Bidragyder — 6 eksemplarer
John -'Ten Days That Shook the World — Original author — 1 eksemplar

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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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Markeret
Zare | 33 andre anmeldelser | 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!
… (mere)
 
Markeret
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
… (mere)
 
Markeret
Toma_Radu_Szoha | 33 andre anmeldelser | Apr 24, 2023 |
The Left Book Club hits the spot AGAIN!

This is a great read. It is partisan but its immediacy makes up for any faults. For those who do not know, this is an on the spot report of the Russian Revolution.

John Reed was an American reporter given almost unlimited access to all areas of the revolution. The book contains facsimiles of
handbills and many first hand descriptions of the events of the day. It is a first class historical document.
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Markeret
the.ken.petersen | 33 andre anmeldelser | Apr 3, 2023 |

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