John Reed: The Making of a Revolutionary

By Granville Hicks; John Stuart | Go to book overview

II
RELEASE

C. J. REED, who had seen his schoolboy friends go away to college and been unhappy because he could not join them, was determined not only that his sons should be educated at Harvard but that they should enter college with the prestige that a respectable preparatory school could give. Morristown, in New Jersey, which he and Mrs. Reed selected, was a school of fifty or sixty students, rather expensive and a little pretentious. Founded under Episcopalian auspices, it had subsequently been taken over by three young Harvard men, class of 1888, Butler, Woodman, and Browne. For the most part, only boys from well-to-do families came there, boys with strong opinions about micks and rowdies and high school students.

Jack Reed, tense with curiosity and the zeal for achievement, caught at once the atmosphere of the place. "The ordered life of the community interested me," he afterwards wrote; "I was impressed by its traditional customs and dignities, school patriotism, and the sense of a long-settled and established civilization." He might have been too much impressed. By no means sure of himself with boys of his own age, even in his native Portland, he could easily have withdrawn in solitary consciousness of his inferiority to the stolid complacence of eastern breeding. The boys were not uncommonly brilliant in studies or gifted in sports, but they belonged together, and Reed had always hated to be an outsider.

What saved him was the seething energy that good health had released. He was so driven to action that he could not stop to distrust himself. The first day of football practice found him

-16-

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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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