Ten days that shook the world

by John Reed

Paper Book, 2006


History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML: Ten Days that Shook the World is a first-hand account of Russia's October Revolution of 1917. Written in 1919 by the American journalist and socialist John Reed, it follows many of the prominent Bolshevik leaders of this time. Reed died the year after his book was finished and was buried in Moscow's Kremlin Wall Necropolis - one of the few Americans accorded this honor usually reserved for the Soviet's most prominent leaders..



Call number



Mineola, NY : Dover, 2006.

User reviews

LibraryThing member fulner
WOW! This book was fantastic. It read like an adventure novel, plus put a bunch of meetings and voting all through it. As a parliamentary wonk I loved it, not sure how the general public would get into it.

I learned more about the Russian revolution just reading the publisher's introduction than I
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did in 16 years of school, including a BS in political science. School made it seem like the Communists overthrew the Czar in one fell swoop, except my one Conservative professor who frequently reminded us that the Communists overthrew a democratically elected government. Of course there were actually MANY Russian revolutions. This was of the last one, the "October" revolution that took Lenin to power.

Reed did what so few hisorical authors can do, make me want to read even more books about the subject because you made the subject so fascinating.
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LibraryThing member boryshuk
Well, this book has a lot going for it from historical value. Keeping track of the multitude of political factions was a bit overwhelming, but to just pick up what you can and not dwell on the details it provided a pretty good overview of the events and the spirit of the time of the revolution.
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Only three stars because it is ultimately a dry read, and I can't rate it up there with amazing 5-star books that I've read. I would give it 5 stars from a historical significance perspective.
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LibraryThing member the.ken.petersen
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.
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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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LibraryThing member antiquary
Interesting as a first-person account. Not as pro-Bolshevik as might be expected. For Reed, the Bolshevik coaltion with the Left
Social Revolutionaries was the climax of the revolution
LibraryThing member Smiley
Reed's reportage rings true but the verbatim transcript of revolutionary speeches and proclamations sounds hollow and cynical 90+ years on and after Stalinism. I also think Reed gives more credit to central party control during the revolution than it probably was.

AJP Taylor's introduction to the
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Penguin 20th Century Classics edition is excellent. He may be right that Reed's account of the Russian Revolution is the best account of any revolution.
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LibraryThing member Schmerguls
867 Ten Days That Shook the World, by John Reed (read 7 Sep 1966) This is a famous book, but it is not really well-written. It jumps around a lot and is not a good account of the Bolshevik Revolution.
LibraryThing member Borg-mx5
The deifinitive, first hand account of the Bolshevik Revolution.
LibraryThing member Maryk205
This book is definitely worth the read as it provides a unique view of events written as they were happening by a witness. Though the whole book feels like one very, very long newspaper article it is interesting to get a peak into a particular time and place guided by someone who does not yet have
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the power of hindsight to inform the text.

That being said it is important for anyone reading this book to be aware of the fact that while Reed was in Russia and a witness to the Bolshevik revolution, this book is neither an insider account nor a neutral account of events. Reed obviously supports the Bolshevik cause and makes very little attempt to understand the other side. Reed is also a foreigner, on the outside looking in. He only communicates with Russians in French. For all the power to the people jargon thrown about, it is clear that Reed can only communicate with the intellectual elite; as a result it feels as if whole groups of people were left out of the dialogue.

Despite its flaws, "Ten Days That Shook the World" is at various points and in varying degrees emotional, tedious, irritating, infuriating and enlightening. I expect nothing less from a book about a revolution.
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LibraryThing member mbmackay
Story of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 by a partisan observer.
Read in samoa Mar 2003
LibraryThing member kcshankd
Disappointing. I know it is a contemporary account, but I was hoping for more... this is a disjointed, uneven effort that at times seems to be just copies of revolutionary broadsides. A reader is left with no idea who these people are, and no insight into why they are doing what they are doing -
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which is what I was after.
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LibraryThing member Eyejaybee
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member JRCornell
First-person chronicle by John Reed, a legendary journalist who was present at the flash point of the Russian Revolution in 1917
LibraryThing member Bodagirl
Lots of walking around and listening to Russians yell at each other. I just couldn't.
LibraryThing member etxgardener
Journalist John Reed’s first-hand account of the Russian revolution in part reads like a story out of Boy’s Own and in part through the eyes of one who becomes disillusioned by the excesses of the Bolsheviks.

A dedicated socialist in the US (and the only American to be buried in the walls of the
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Kremlin), Reed went to Russia to cover what would be the story of a lifetime and was up close and personal with most of the main players in that world-shaking event. While he stated that he aimed to write an impartial account of what transpired, Reed’s sympathies are clearly with the revolutionaries, but not necessarily with the Bolsheviks. As the book goes on, the reader can sense Reed’s disillusionment with the4 in-fighting and backstabbing among the various left-wing parties trying to set up a new government.

Overthrowing the tsar, it seems, was the easy part.

Even after 100 years, and long after, we know how the story really turns out. Reed’s journalist account reads like a fictional thriller. I quickly turned every page until I got to the end.
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LibraryThing member 064
Ten Days that Shook the World is a classic and influential book written by journalist John Reed that chronicles the events of the October Revolution in Russia in 1917. The book is a firsthand account of the revolution and the early days of the Soviet Union, as Reed was an observer and participant
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in the events he describes.

Reed's writing is vivid and engaging, providing a detailed and human perspective on the revolution. He conveys the excitement, chaos, and hope of the time, and provides a nuanced picture of the various players involved in the revolution, from Lenin and Trotsky to the common people of Russia. Ten Days that Shook the World is an important historical document, and remains an essential read for anyone interested in understanding the Russian Revolution and its impact on the world.
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Original publication date

1919 (1e édition originale américaine)
1927 (1e traduction par Martin-Stahl, Editions sociales internationales)
1958 (Nouvelle édition avec une préface de Nadèjda Kroupskaja. Biographie de John Reed par Albert Rhys Williams, Éditions sociales)
1996-10-03 (Nouvelle traduction par Vladimir Pozner et édition française avec une préface d'Ewa Bérard, Seuil)


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