qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Animal Farm

Book Review: Ten Days That Shook the World, by John Reed
John Reed was an American journalist based in Petrograd during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. His narrative is quite compelling when it's detailed, describing first-hand his trips around the city and beyond, discovering the latest developments, chaos, danger and enthusiasm. It works less well when he describes events from a distance, when his self-acknowledged loyalties show themselves in the somewhat stilted and stereotypical language of the Left, where Bolshevik is good and anything else is bad.

Perhaps just as biased in this edition is A J P Taylor's introduction, which does not exactly whet one's appetite for the book. It's not difficult to see why the copyright holders vetoed its inclusion in Penguin's original edition. One interesting point he does highlight is that the most prominent figure in the book is probably Trotsky; Lenin is always enigmatic, and Stalin hardly features at all.
Tags: books
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