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Ten Days that Shook the World (20th-Century Classics)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  2,903 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
John Reed conveys, with the immediacy of cinema, the impression of a whole nation in ferment and disintegration. A contemporary journalist writing in the first flush of revolutionary enthusiasm, he gives us a record of the events in Petrograd in November 1917, when Lenin and the Bolsheviks finally siezed power. Containing verbatim reports both of speeches by leaders and th ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 7th 1990 by Penguin (first published 1919)
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Jul 22, 2008 Ty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this one, after meaning to check it out since college.

Sometimes you know a book is great even if you yourself have a hard time reading it. That was the case for me in the very well written and detailed personal account of the October Revolution in Russia, as experienced by American reporter and Communist sympathizer, Jack Reed.

The excellent movie Reds is based in large part on the accounts in this book. (Warren Beauty producing, directing, writing, and starring as the author, Re
Aug 19, 2009 Jimmy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: european-history
Due to the various political parties that John Reed speaks of in his impassioned account of the Russian Revolution, it becomes somewhat difficult to follow the flow of events and their importance. An understanding of the struggle at hand in this tumultuous period really only requires the knowledge of two warring factions; the "Reds" (Bolsheviks), and the "Whites" (anti-Bolsheviks). Basically the absolute monarchy of Tsar Nicholas II had come to an end due to severe social and political unrest on ...more
Ahmed Kurdish
يعتبر كتاب عشرة ايام هزت العالم ، من اروع واصدق ما كتب عن الثورة الروسية عام 1917. ومؤلفة جون ريد وهو صحفى شيوعى اميركى، قد تعرض لكثير من المخاطر وهو يتنقل بين الثوار وجنود الجيش الاحمر ووبين العمال و الفلاحين البلاشفة ..لرصد اهم واصعب المواقف السياسية والشخصية والانسانية التى تتكامل مع بعضها لترسم لنا ادق تفاصيل الثورة الروسية بكل سلاسة ويسر فى اسلوب روائى وادبى شيق للغاية حتى ان القارىء العادى والذى لا يعرف مسبقا من هم البلاشفة ، او ماهى ثورة اكتوبر او ثورة فبراير ؟ والعديد من اسامى الاحزاب ال ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
American journalist and socialist John Reed wrote about Russia's 1917 October Revolution presenting a first hand account of all the events whilst being on assignment for a socialist politics magazine called The Masses, however due to this magazine's forced closure another magazine The Liberator published his articles.
Reed was able to interact with Bolshevik leaders and got much information from officials apart from his experiences and was therefore able to present his account both dramatically
This is simultaneously a difficult read and a pageturner - a firsthand account of the Bolshevik Revolution from an American observer, dense with details but also providing a historically priceless perspective of one of the most important events of the 20th century. Reed offer details of the factional fighting that took place during the revolution (this is a lot of the book) and the mistakes and unintended consequences that helped generate the final result. This was of less value in my opinion th ...more
Oct 14, 2012 dely marked it as not-finished-to-read-maybe-someday  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-usa
Dopo circa 100 pagine mi arrendo. Ne avevo sentito parlare benissimo, come uno dei migliori libri sulla rivoluzione russa, ma non riesce a coinvolgermi. Ci sono troppi dettagli, troppi nomi di leader di partito, troppi partiti e comitati e sindacati...c'è troppo e ci si perde nei minuziosi dettagli. Inoltre, in quei giorni le vicende cambiavano da un giorno all'altro, c'erano alleanze, poi rotture, nuove alleanze, e non riesco a star dietro a tutto. È molto giornalistico, un po' troppo per i mie ...more
John Reed, a young socialist from Portland, Oregon, went to Russia in 1917 as a journalist to report on the unfolding revolution. Russia was in great turmoil, with widespread opposition to the war, a struggling economy, and shortages of basic necessities. The government was barely in control of the situation, and political influence was fractured among many political parties ranging from the far-right to the communist left. Reed was a revolutionist, and so supported the position of the bolshevik ...more
في هذا الكتاب يقدم جون ريد نظرته لأحداث الثورة البلشفية التي صادف وجوده في روسيا وقت اندلاعها عام 1917 . ينجح ريد في نقل حالة التخبط السياسي و الاجتماعي قبيل و خلال الثورة فيقدم من خلال محاوراته و تجاربه الشخصية نماذج لكل الاطراف الفاعلة في الازمة بدأً من العمال و الفلاحون و الجنود و وصولاً لاراء جماعات سياسية كالبلاشفة و الاشتراكيين الثوريين بجناحيهم بل و حتي انصار حكومة كيرينسكي . الكتاب يؤرخ لفترة محددة من عمر الثورة الروسية الكبري و هي قبيل استيلاءالبلاشفة علي الحكم و هروب كيرينسكي بعشرة اي ...more
Stephen McQuiggan
1917 in Red Petrograd and the revolution is reaching boiling point; soon civil war will erupt and comrade will kill comrade. There is a naive hope and joy at the heart of this account, enough to almost melt my cynical old heart. Almost. The best parts are when Reed leaves the endless debates and decrees of Smolny and gets down among the workers and peasants of Moscow. Yet in hindsight, a lot of this seems misplaced. The prose is ungainly, even ugly in places, but it is the interminable rhetoric ...more
Hajer Elmahdi
Jan 24, 2015 Hajer Elmahdi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
4.6 stars
Ten Days that Shocked the World talks about American journalist and socialist John Reed experience in Russia during October revolution and Bolsheviks seizer of power ( Bolshevik literally means "one of the majority", derived from Russian ) in 1917, Russia. Even though i'm familiar with the Bolshevik revolution and its events, Reed's narrative writing captured the country's situation during a hard time vividly, it was informative with quotations from newspapers, documents, eyewitnesses
I can't say this was an easy read (unlike other works that focus more on the execution of the Czar and his family), but it is probably the most comprehensible and concise volume on the Bolshevik coup - a very complicated event. Of course, for a casual reader like myself I was still a little overwhelmed with a plethora of Russian names and various left/right political groups and factions representing everything from the elite armed forces to peasants groups. This is not to say there were not part ...more
John Reed's book, whilst not the most historically accurate account, is a fantastic rendering of the Bolshevik Revolution. Reed captures wonderfully the uncertainty, the activity, the tension of a country in revolution. If you're at all interested in Russian or Soviet history, or revolutions in general, definitely read this. Be sure to take what Reed says with a few liberal pinches of salt, but definitely read it nonetheless.
Introduction, by A. J. P. Taylor
Introduction, by V. I. Lenin
Notes and Explanations

--Ten Days That Shook the World

Perry Whitford
Aug 13, 2016 Perry Whitford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that the dust has settled on the Soviet Union (though not, alas, on Russian expansionism) I think the status of the October Revolution of 1917 as the most extraordinary event of the 20th century has probably if anything been enhanced.

How in the name of Sergei Eisenstein did a small group of revolutionaries representing solely the needs of the proletariat where the population consisted of 80% peasantry and all the real power lay in the hands of the aristocracy gain the upper hand with barely
Leo H
Dec 28, 2016 Leo H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very difficult book to review for several reasons, a.) there's so much going on in it, b.) it's a history book, so the criteria are a bit vague, is it good if it's engaging? Detailed? Historically accurate? and c.) this is an overt piece of Soviet propaganda, Reed was an out and out supporter of the Bolsheviks, he's buried in Red Square and the book has a forward written by Vladimir Lenin. Like, the actual Lenin. So we need to understand 'Ten Days that Shook the World' not only as a document o ...more
Nov 14, 2016 Johnny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Ten Days that Shook the World is a compendium of eye-witness reporting and translated (except for some illustrations) source materials from this pivotal point in the Russian Revolution. The book was penned by John Reed, a socialist journalist from the United States, who was the subject of the Warren Beatty movie, Reds.

One must confess that this book wasn’t exactly what it appeared to be from the cover illustration. Said cover illustration on my aging copy had two revolutionaries with rifles in
Joe Strnad
Reed actually lived through the Russian Revolution of 1917 in St. Petersburg so he knows what he's talking about. However, he was a member of the American Communist Party and this leads to a very biased view of events. He favors the Bolshevik; the book borders on propaganda as opposed to objective journalism. This being said, it is still a more nuanced view than official Soviet Party history. The reader gets a good sense of the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the events of November 1917: starv ...more
Rosa Ramôa
Jan 13, 2016 Rosa Ramôa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uma revolução de significado mundial...
""Uma palavra de ordem soava clara,dia após dia:"Todo o poder aos sovietes!Todo o poder aos representantes directos de milhões de trabalhadores,soldados e camponeses.Terra,pão e fim de uma guerra sem sentido(...)"!A luta entre o proletariado e a classe média,entre os sovietes e o governo,que começara logo em Março de 1917,ia chegar ao seu ponto culminante.Tendo passado de um momento para o outro da Idade Média para o século XX,a Rússia mostrava ao mundo dua
Jul 26, 2011 Claire added it
A vivid read, which captures the confused and confusing nature of a country in the grip of a revolution that was to change the world. However, this is very clearly a one-sided account of events - Reed wears his Bolshevik sympathies on his sleeve and makes little effort to distinguish between the countless fracturing opposition factions, which leaves the reader somewhat bemused at times. I also found his style of writing somewhat irritating, and unless the reader has some knowledge of Russia befo ...more
Peter Hoff
Sep 11, 2014 Peter Hoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This eyewitness account of the Bolshevik October Revolution reads like a set of faculty senate minutes occasionally punctuated by machine-gun fire. It is a blend of narration and extensive quotation from documents of the moment. As such, it does not read very well, but is a valuable "in the moment" description of the revolution by an American Journalist who was granted intimate access to the Bolshevik inner circles.
Karlo Mikhail
Passes as an important historical account. But all too often falls to sensationalism (makes up some stuff to make events more dramatic) and hagiography (thinks that Lenin and Trotsky are Gods in human flesh). I liked the Soviet-illustrated comics "Introducing the Russian Revolution" or Rius' "Lenin for Beginners" better. Great appendix though.
Sara Kearns
Feb 14, 2008 Sara Kearns rated it really liked it
another one i have to re-read, and am super-excited to do so. it blew me away the first time, and i expect it will again. 'highly recommended. and i'd also recommend the film made about the book's author and his wife, "reds," with diane keaton, warren beatty, and jack nicholson. it's one of my favorites.
Ömürden Cengiz
10 sene sonra tekrar aynı heyecanla okudum. Bolşeviklerin iktidarı ellerine alışının tarihi 10 gününü, sosyalist bir Amerikalının gözünden anlatıyor.

Lenin'in meclis konuşmalarını okurken heyecanlanmamak elde değil. Çürümekte ve aynı zamanda kaynamakta olan bir halk, örgütlü mücadelenin zaferi.
Thom Dunn

The movie Reds, loathed by many, is valuable for having both Jerzy Kosinski and Henry Miller in speaking parts, Kosinski as Trotsky, Miller as himself opining: "I think there was just as much fucking going on then as there is now..."
Emiko Meyers
Sep 04, 2012 Emiko Meyers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extremely good book that gives a passioned accounting of politics in 1917.
Mahmoud Omar
سلس ومفيد.
Nov 05, 2016 Alayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews

Lo que yo pensaba que iba a ser un relato bastante corto sobre la revolución de Octubre terminó siendo bastante más. No me molestó eso, de todas formas. Pero si que me desconcertaron algunas cosas como tantas fechas, TANTOS NOMBRES RUSOS DIFÍCILES (creo que ubicaba a los conocidos + unos 5 nombres más y hasta ahí llegaba mi entendimiento) y taaaaanta cosa para llegar al establecimiento del gobierno soviético tal como lo pensamos.
Lo que sí me encantó, fue leer y entender cuánto más complic
Paul Haspel
Aug 25, 2013 Paul Haspel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia
Those ten days of October 1917, during which the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia, truly did shake the world – and therefore John Reed’s 1919 book Ten Days That Shook the World is nothing if not well-named. Reed is a brilliant journalist and writer who has written a compelling book; and as far as I am concerned, he was dead wrong about virtually everything.

First, the good news. Reed is a careful observer and a fine writer with a gift for the compelling image, the well-turned phrase; he appeals
Jan 23, 2017 Andrej rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems incredible that it's been all eye-witnessed by John Reed in Petrograd and Moscow but as a work of journalistic memories it's surely on a heavy side with scrupulously documented speeches and debates. Hey, but now I know the difference between the bolsheviks and left socialist revolutionaries!...1917 were deeply complicated indeed.
Jan 05, 2017 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for Eric, in our ongoing book exchange.
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Modern Library edition abridged? 2 12 May 07, 2013 11:48AM  
  • History of the Russian Revolution
  • Memoirs of a Revolutionary
  • The Civil War in France
  • The Prophet Armed: Trotsky, 1879-1921
  • The Russian Revolution 1917-1932
  • To the Finland Station
  • Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder: A Popular Essay in Marxian Strategy and Tactics
  • The Condition of the Working Class in England
  • The Bolshevik Revolution 1917-23, Vol 1
  • Out of the Night: The Memoir of Richard Julius Herman Krebs alias Jan Valtin
  • A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924
  • Three Who Made a Revolution: A Biographical History of Lenin, Trotsky & Stalin
  • The Age of Capital: 1848-1875
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John Silas Reed, often referred to by his nickname, Jack, was an American journalist, poet & communist activist, remembered for his 1st-hand account of the Bolshevik Revolution, Ten Days that Shook the World. He was the 1st husband of the writer & feminist Louise Bryant.
More about John Reed...

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“So, with the crash of artillery, in the dark, with hatred, and fear, and reckless daring, new Russia was being born.” 2 likes
“Carlyle, in his French Revolution, has described the French people as distinguished above all others by their faculty of standing in queue. Russia had accustomed herself to the practice, begun in the reign of Nicholas the Blessed as long ago as 1915, and from then continued intermittently until the summer of 1917, when it settled down as the regular order of things.” 1 likes
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