Ten Days That Shook the World is John Reed's eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution.
A contemporary journalist writing in the first flush of revolutionary enthusiasm, he gives a gripping record of the events in Petrograd in November 1917, when Lenin and the Bolsheviks finally seized power.
Containing verbatim reports both of speeches by leaders and the chance comments of bystanders, set against an idealized backcloth of the proletariat, soldiers, sailors, and peasants uniting to throw off oppression, Reed's account is the product of passionate involvement and remains an unsurpassed classic of reporting.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 26/04/2007
- Category: European history
- ISBN: 9780141442129
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by 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 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.
Review by 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. 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.
Review by 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 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.