John Reed: The Making of a Revolutionary

By Granville Hicks; John Stuart | Go to book overview
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XVI
REVOLUTIONARY AND POET

HAVING gone through the Russian revolution, John Reed's first concern was to report it as accurately as possible. On the morning of November 13, the morning when the news reached Smolny of Kerensky's defeat, Lenin had given him a short statement to American Socialists. On the fifteenth Reed got permission to cable this message, together with an account of Kerensky's downfall, to the New York Call. After being held by the censor in this country, the dispatch was released on November 21 and published the next day under a seven-column banner.

At about the same time Reed sent the Masses by mail the first of a series of articles under the general title of "The Rising of the Proletariat," carrying the story of the revolution down to the eve of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. With the article he wrote, "Have cabled many times for money and instructions, but no reply whatever. We are broke. I want to stay till January and return by way of China. Please telegraph my mother we are all right." A week or so later he sent the second part of "The Rising of the Proletariat," principally concerned with the background of the revolution, and promised other articles in a week or two.

Reed did not yet know, of course, that, with the November- December issue, the Masses had been suppressed, and its editors, himself included, indicted, and that neither the articles he had sent from Stockholm nor those he was sending from Petrograd could be published. It would be three months before the editors could manage to bring out the magazine under a new name, the

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