John Reed: The Making of a Revolutionary

By Granville Hicks; John Stuart | Go to book overview

I
BOYHOOD IN PORTLAND

JOHN REED was born, October 20, 1887, in his grandmother's mansion, Cedar Hill, and there was another celebration in a house that had come to be known for its festivities. It was a large house and possibly the most pretentious Portland could boast. Henry D. Green, who had not lived to see the birth of his first grandson, had built it ten years before on a spur of the hills west of Portland, the first of the first citizens to move away from the little cluster of wealthy homes on the flat land near the river. Cedar Hill was the show-place of the city, a real French chateau, people said, with formal gardens, stables, greenhouses, and a glass grape arbor.

The child was christened John Silas in fashionable Trinity Episcopal Church, and, while Mrs. Green entertained her friends and the friends of the father and mother, Lee Sing, her cook, celebrated in his own way in his cellar room. He lit joss sticks, burned paper prayers, and gave a feast of dried shark-fins, seasoned chicken-gizzards, and sam-shui to his Chinese friends. Later that evening his mistress found him alone in the pantry, very drunk, with twelve of her Royal Worcester cups lined up before him, drinking whiskey out of one after the other.

The chateau on Cedar Hill was the outward mark of Henry Green's eminence among the pioneer builders of Portland. He was not quite among the first settlers, for the city had been established in 1845, and the foundations of its first fortunes had been laid in the early fifties by Henry W. Corbett, Henry Failing, William S. Ladd, and Simeon G. Reed. These were the builders of the steamship lines, the banks, and the railroads. But

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John Reed: The Making of a Revolutionary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • I- Boyhood in Portland 1
  • II- Release 16
  • III- "Pain of Growing, Ecstasy of Unfolding" 24
  • IV- To See the World 51
  • V- Proud New York 64
  • VI- Profession: Poet 91
  • VII- The Romantic Revolution 109
  • VIII- Between Wars 136
  • IX- This is Not Our War 148
  • X- Manhattan Revisited 170
  • XI- Eastern Front 183
  • XII- Breathing Spell 204
  • XIII- Almost Thirty 228
  • XIV- Passage to Russia 249
  • XV- The World Shakes 268
  • XVI- Revolutionary and Poet 282
  • XVII- America, 1918 303
  • XVII- Spokesman of the Soviets 321
  • XIX- Discipline 342
  • XX- Revolutionary's Return 365
  • XXI- By the Kremlin Wall 387
  • Acknowledgments 403
  • Appendix A- Notes 407
  • Appendix B- Bibliography 425
  • Index 437
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