Bill Haywood's Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood

By William D. Haywood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXV
HAYWOOD'S LIFE IN THE SOVIET UNION*

READERS of "Bill Haywood's Book" will have learned from his own narrative that he was seriously ill before he left America. Undoubtedly his illness either arose from or was made worse by his imprisonment. All who knew him after his release noted his state of ill health. While in New York before his departure, he was very sick and constantly under a doctor's care. While he improved considerably after he arrived in the Soviet Union, as time went on his health gradually declined. This interfered greatly with the writing of his book and prevented him from writing additional chapters in which he planned to tell of his life and work in Soviet Russia.

Haywood was welcomed by the Russian masses and by the leaders of the Communist Party as befitted an old fighter of Labor's struggles. He was received everywhere with eager acclaim and decorated as a Revolutionary Hero with a medal which he wore with pride and which lay upon his breast when he at last reposed in death.

He regarded himself as a political refugee, "pending the revolution in America," and carefully followed every development in the American labor movement with great interest. He wrote articles for the press, and Moscow papers called upon him repeatedly for his opinion of the meaning of American events. His room, in a comfortable Moscow hotel, was a center of attraction for all American workers visiting Moscow, with whom he would discuss their problems and spend hours of comradely conviviality, often until the early Russian dawn began to appear over the gilded domes of the ancient city. Haywood's room was also a center for the children who romped about the corridor near his door, and often a young one

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Haywood's death on May 18, 1928, prevented him from completing his memoirs. The publishers therefore requested a friend and co- worker of Haywood to write a short account of the latter's sojourn in Soviet Russia.

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