Author(s): John Reed
This account of the Russian Revolution by a western journalist has been admired worldwide since its first publication in 1919. Lenin endorsed it as "a truthful and most vivid exposition of the events so significant to the comprehension of what really is the Proletarian Revolution." Reed was able to observe exactly what was going on and to find out not only what the Bolshevik leaders were doing, but to move among those on the streets and note down the experiences of the masses of ordinary people. After outlining the backround and causes of the Revolution, Reed goes through the days leading up to the seizing of power by the Bolsheviks in Petrograd. He describes the divisions between the provisional government, which had been set up following the abdication of Nicholas II in March 1917, and the Petrograd Soviet, and their warnings against counter-revolution; the return of Lenin and the Bolshevik plots to bring about an uprising of the people; the moves between Revolution and counter-revolution; the actions of the Red Guards, under the control of Trotsky and Lenin, who moved through the city taking over principal buildings; the fall of the provisional government; the assault on the Winter Palace, and the final seizure of power. "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." (From Lenin's introduction)
John Reed (1887-1920) American journalist and poet-adventurer whose colorful life as a revolutionary writer ended in Russia but made him the hero of a generation of radical intellectuals. Reed became a close friend of V.I. Lenin and was an eyewitness to the 1917 October revolution. He recorded this historical event in his best-known book TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD (1920). Reed is buried with other Bolshevik heroes beside the Kremlin wall.