Most of the history we read is from books that got their information from other books who got their information from .... In short they are everything but original sourced. The problem with original sources is that they knew what was happening and reported it at the time. They had their own selective bias which may or may not be the same as the later historians that write the general history books that schools love to teach from.
John Reed was there at the time of the Russian Revolution. He did meet main characters and he did feel that that the revolution was coming to America.
I first read this book in a college course on Russian history. My professor was one of those types that you encounter every now and then that felt that the general history books (his included) were too watered down and lacked the deep texture of the events that could only be captured by someone who was there. I learned a lot more in that course than just Russian history.
The first half of the book will set the stage for you. To understand how the events manifested themselves, the Appendixes (the second half of the book) are critical.
At the end of his life Reed was a broken man, disillusioned with Communism and the Russian leaders that he had admired.
This book was the basis for the 1981 Warren Beatty film Reds.
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