vôvô john reed
Before John Reed left for Russia, the Espionage Act was passed on June 15, 1917, which fined and imprisoned anyone who interfered with the recruiting of soldiers and prohibited the mailing of any newspaper or magazine that promoted such sentiments. The U. S. Postal Service was also given leave to deny any mailing that fitted these standards from further postal delivery, and then to disqualify a magazine because it had missed a mailing and hence, was no longer considered a regular publication. Because of this, The Masses was forced by the United States federal government to cease publication in the fall of 1917, after refusing to change the magazine's policy against the war. The Liberator, founded by Max Eastman under his and his sister's private control, published Reed's articles concerning the Russian Revolution instead. In an effort to ensure the magazine's survival, Eastman compromised and tempered its views accordingly.
Upon returning from Russia during April 1918 from Kristiania in Norway, after being barred from either traveling to the United States or returning to Russia since February 23 by the State Department, Reed's trunk of notes and materials on the revolution—which included Russian handbills, newspapers, and speeches—were seized by custom officials, who interrogated him for four hours over his activities in Russia during the previous eight months. Michael Gold, an eyewitness to Reed's arrival to Manhattan, recalls how "a swarm of Department of Justice men stripped him, went over every inch of his clothes and baggage, and put him through the usual inquisition. Reed had been sick with ptomaine on the boat. The inquisition had also been painful." Back home during mid-summer 1918, Reed, worried that "his vivid impressions on the revolution would fade," fought hard to regain his papers from the possession of the government, who refused to return them.
Reed would not receive his materials until seven months later in November. Max Eastman recalls a meeting with John Reed in the middle of Sheridan Square during the period of time when Reed isolated himself writing the book:
...he wrote Ten Days that Shook the World—wrote it in another ten days and ten nights or little more. He was gaunt, unshaven, greasy-skinned, a stark sleepless half-crazy look on his slightly potato-like face—had come down after a night's work for a cup of coffee.
"Max, don't tell anybody where I am. I'm writing the Russian revolution in a book. I've got all the placards and papers up there in a little room and a Russian dictionary, and I'm working all day and all night. I haven't shut my eyes for thirty-six hours. I'll finish the whole thing in two weeks. And I've got a name for it too—Ten Days that Shook the World. Good-by, I've got to go get some coffee. Don't for God's sake tell anybody where I am!"
Do you wonder I emphasize his brains? Not so many brains are like yours,,,no no they are ,,,
Perhaps the most controversial work on our list is the seventh, John Reed's book, "Ten Days That Shook the World," reporting on the October revolution in Russia in 1917. Yes, as conservative critics have noted, Reed was a partisan. Yes, historians would do better. But this was probably the most consequential news story of the century, and Reed was there, and Reed could write. The magnitude of the event being reported on and the quality of the writing were other important standards in our considerations.
The book portrays Trotsky as a man who co-led the revolution with Lenin and mentions Stalin only twice—one of them being only in the recitation of a list of names, as both Lenin and Trotsky were internationally known, whereas the activities of other Bolshevik militants were virtually unknown. Russian ban on Ten Days that Shook the World: "The main task was to build a mighty socialist state. For that, mighty power was needed. Stalin was at the head of that power, which mean that he stood at its source with Lenin. Together with Lenin he led the October Revolution. John Reed had presented the history of October differently. That wasn't the John Reed we needed." After Stalin's death, the book was allowed to recirculate.
had taken time to read the book. Furthermore, Lenin agreed to write an introduction that first appeared in the 1922 edition published by Boni & Liveright (New York):
With the greatest interest and with never slackening attention I read John Reed's book, Ten Days that Shook the World. Unreservedly do I recommend it to the workers of the world. Here is a book which I should like to see published in millions of copies and translated into all languages. It gives a truthful and most vivid exposition of the events so significant to the comprehension of what really is the Proletarian Revolution and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat These problems are widely discussed, but before one can accept or reject these ideas, he must understand the full significance of his decision. John Reed's book will undoubtedly help to clear this question, which is the fundamental problem of the international labor movement.V. LENIN.End of 1919