John Reed: The Making of a Revolutionary

By Granville Hicks; John Stuart | Go to book overview

IV
To SEE THE WORLD

AT ELEVEN-THIRTY on the morning of July 9, 1910, the S.S. Bostonian left Boston with seven hundred steers on board. Copey had given his invariable advice: do something, see the world, have experience, find something to write about. And John Reed had listened and obeyed. He planned to work his way not only to Europe but around the world. His father approved the plan, though he insisted on modifying it by drawing heavily on sparse resources and giving the boy, despite his protests, one hundred dollars and a letter of credit.

Reed had persuaded Waldo Peirce to accompany him. Peirce was a Maine man who had revolted against the close-figuring caution that had made his grandfather a power in Bangor. His more than two hundred pounds of solid strength had inevitably put him on the football team, though he disliked the long afternoons of dreary practice. He disliked anything that partook of the nature of discipline. He could not be bothered to work at drawing, though his cartoons in the Lampoon had more originality than the sleek pictures of its cleverest artists. He could not be bothered to work at writing, though one or two realistic stories in the Montbly had exposed the empty imitativeness of the tuck of undergraduate tales. He could not be bothered to work at his courses, and the university had more than once penalized him. Towards the aristocrats, who had to accept him, he felt the careless indifference that Reed wanted to feel and couldn't quite. Reed said he admired Peirce because he wore the kind of clothes he wanted to wear. He also admired him because he was one man who was more daring, more irresponsible, more adventurous than John Reed.

-51-

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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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