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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ€TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Ten days that Shook the World (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) Paperback – February 7, 1990

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Editorial Reviews Review

The situation in St. Petersburg was growing more and more tense. The People's Revolution had begun by overthrowing the corrupt Tsarist regime in March 1917, but the workers and the peasants felt the revolution had much farther to go. Tired of fighting a war that meant little to them, the soldiers also grew restless: "When the land belongs to the peasants, and the factories to the workers, and the power to the Soviets, then we'll know we have something to fight for, and we'll fight for it!"

Lenin pressed the Bolsheviks to seize power. On the night of October 24, an organized mass of workers, soldiers, peasants, and sailors stormed the Winter Palace. On the following day, at the opening of the second Congress of Soviets, Trotsky announced the overthrow of the provisional government. Counterrevolutionary forces marched on the capital, but the Revolutionary Army triumphed. After all, "[t]his was their battle, for their world; the officers in command were elected by them. For the moment that incoherent multiple will was one will."

In Ten Days That Shook the World John Reed tells the story of Red October and the Russian revolution from a unique, firsthand perspective. Reed, an American journalist, was on assignment in Russia for The Masses--then the principal radical journal in the United States--and spent his days walking the streets, reading and collecting handbills, newspapers, and posters, and talking to people. As a result, Ten Days crackles with energetic immediacy. At its best moments it reads like a novel: Reed recounts conversations and arguments, details political machinations, and speculates on personal motives. Though this is no mere piece of propaganda, Reed's enthusiasm for the revolution infuses the text (some readers may be put off by Reed's florid prose), casting each counterrevolutionary act in a negative light. Helpful notes flesh out the background for those less familiar with the preceding events and render this a solid work of history. Ten Days That Shook the World is a stirring account of a stirring event. --Sunny Delaney


".....he writes of it brilliantly and entertainingly ......His familiar powers of graphic description ......are here at their best." -- The New York Times Book Review on first publication. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1st edition (February 7, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140182934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140182934
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,074,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By D. Morrow on June 23, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
To appreciate this book, you have to understand what it is and what it isn't.

This is top-notch journalism, by someone with a lot of insight into what he was seeing, and a knack for turning up in all the right places. It gives you a vivid, unparalleled *flavor* of the Russian revolution of 1917, the first victorious working class revolution.

But it's still *journalism*. It's not an organized chronicle of what happened, beginning at the beginning and introducing events and ideas in a logical order. On top of that, Reed arrived in Russia at the climax of the revolution, after seven months of intense activity by an overwhelming cast of characters. If you read it too casually, it's like starting a textbook by reading the last chapter.

To get the most out of the book, I suggest reading Reed's introductory material carefully, probably returning to it more than once as you read the book. If you need more help, there's a good summary in the last two chapters of "Revolutionary Continuity: the Early Years" by Farrell Dobbs.

Your efforts will be well-rewarded. It really is great journalism.

For a definitive history, I highly recommend the widely acclaimed masterpiece, "History of the Russian Revolution" by Leon Trotsky. If you like one book, you'll like the other. I promise. Please read my review. (Click on "See all my reviews" above.)

Some reviewers complained that Reed doesn't explain the revolution's shortcomings -- the Russian revolution obviously turned out badly in the long run. But not everyone agrees that the revolution was fatally flawed from the very beginning. I don't. It's hard to read Reed's book and believe it was anything but an authentic popular revolution. For what went wrong, I recommend "The Revolution Betrayed" by Leon Trotsky and "Lenin's Final Fight", a collection of Lenin's last writings.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a most powerfully written American radical journalist's eyewitness account of the Bolshevik seizure of power--recording the excitement of the October days and the beginnings of John Reed's own revolutionary disillusionment.
Ten Days That Shook the World is the classic account of the Russian Revolution of November 1917 by a western journalist and has been admired worldwide since its first publication in 1919. Lenin endorsed it as "a truthful and most vivid exposition of the events so significant to the comprehension of what really is the Proletarian Revolution."
Already based in Europe and sympathetic to the cause of the Russian Revolution, Reed was able to observe dispassionately exactly what was going on and to find out not only what the Bolshevik leaders were doing, but to move among those on the streets and note experiences of the masses of ordinary people. Witnessing first-hand the day-to-day events of the Revolution, he captures in vivid and graphic detail the atmosphere of that time.
An extraordinary document of history in the making, this newer edition is the first with contemporary photographs, while a new introduction by Harold Shukman, University Lecturer in Modern Russian History at Oxford University, sets the work in context. Published to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, this illustrated edition will appeal to anyone interested in modern history. And quite possibly re-ignite a political polemic.
Warren Beatty dared to make the film Reds, which gives us a poignantly epic visual view of John Reed, his life, his loves and his fierce beliefs as read in Ten Days That Shook The World.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen VINE VOICE on December 6, 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
"Ten Days That Shook The World" is the account by John Reed of what he saw during the Russian Revolution. Reed was an American Communist and journalist who is the only American known to be buried in the Kremlin. Throughout this book we read a series of observations and dialogues reported by Reed, virtually without comment, although his bias is apparent. We read his reports of political meetings, encounters with minor officials and his observations of events occurring during those turbulent revolutionary days in Petrograd.
This book is a classic case of missing the forest for the trees. The view is too up close to permit the reader to see the big picture. One does not look here for the history of the Revolution. We look here for its spirit. Here we see the swirling chaos, hear the repeated buzz words and get a feeling for the competing factions which fashioned the Communist tyranny which emerged from the Revolution.
In writing this book, Reed gives the reader a view of himself and other American Communists who saw in the Revolution the future that worked. His view can best be summarized in his comment that, while watching a funeral, he realized that the Russian people no longer needed priests to pray them into heaven because they were building a world brighter than any which heaven promised. This hope is in stark contrast to the now known Communist record.
Overall I enjoyed this book as it taught me some more about the Russian Revolution than I had learned from other books which I had read. (See my Amazon review of "The Russian Revolution" by Alan Moorehead.) For that it was worth reading.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By N. Mozahem on September 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the most biased books ever written, but this shouldnt be taken as a criticism. This is one of the those history books that was written by someone that was actually there at the time things were happening, and the author made it clear that he was not trying to present "both sides" of the story. He was going to present the "people's side" (at least at that specific time). You dont have to be a communist to enjoy this book. In fact, you can compare the dream the people had at that time with what they actually got later. Beautifully written, this book makes you live the revolution. As you read it, you find yourself walking down the same street with the people at that time and listening to them talk and argue and even fight. Thanks to Reed's amazing style you can visualize the whole thing.
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