John Reed: The Making of a Revolutionary

By Granville Hicks; John Stuart | Go to book overview

XII
BREATHING SPELL

FINANCIALLY it had been a profitable trip, for the Metropolitan had paid generously, and that was just as well. His mother and brother, in order to hold on to the debt-burdened property Mr. Reed had left, needed several hundred dollars at once, and this Reed cheerfully gave them. First and last, a good share of the thousands of dollars he earned during the years of prosperity went to Portland. He did not begrudge it, not only because he was naturally generous, but also because he did not forget the sacrifices his parents had made for him.

He planned to visit Portland, but first he had his articles to finish. While he was staying in New York, he delivered two lectures, one at the Harvard Club and one before the inmates of Sing Sing prison. The audience at the Harvard Club was skeptical of his stories, the tales of innumerable arrests, the flight from Constantinople, the sights of the battlefields. As he sensed the hostility of his listeners, he became arrogant, deliberately exaggerating the stories in order to shock these smug stay-athomes. And afterwards, realizing that he had not been believed, had not even been taken seriously, had not convinced any one of the truth about the war, he was unhappy.

It was different at Sing Sing. C. J. Reed had known Thomas Mott Osbome well, and John Reed had followed with warm approval Osbome's attempts at prison reform. He had dinner with Osbome and Spencer Miller, who were fascinated by his accounts of his adventures. When he stood before the prisoners in the crowded chapel, he began, with complete naturalness, "Hello, fellows," and instantly there was applause. He talked a

-204-

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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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