Manual Ten Days

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Not only had the government broken down, but the municipal government had absolutely broken down.

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All his papers from his Russian trip were confiscated, and would not be returned for seven months. At this juncture, Reed seized his moment, not least because his wife Louise Bryant was about to publish her own version, Six Red Months in Russia. His editor, Max Eastman, recalls a meeting with his correspondent during the period of time when Reed shut himself away to write his account of the revolution in, he claimed, 10 days:. Not so many feats can be found in American literature to surpass what he did there in those two or three weeks in that little room with those piled-up papers in a half-known tongue, piled clear up to the ceiling, and a small dog-eared dictionary, and a memory, and a determination to get it right, and a gorgeous imagination to paint it when he got it.

But what I want to comment on now was the unqualified, concentrated joy in his mad eyes that morning.

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He was doing what he was made to do, writing a great book. From its opening page, Ten Days has a tempo and a voice that sets it apart, in an era when reportage as a genre was still in its infancy. Since March , when the roaring torrents of workmen and soldiers beating upon the Tauride Palace compelled the reluctant imperial duma to assume the supreme power in Russia, it was the masses of the people, workers, soldiers and peasants that forced every change in the course of the revolution.

Reed never made much effort to conceal his sympathies. His account of the Bolshevik leadership is frankly partisan:.

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Then followed a savage hunt of the Bolsheviks; hundreds were imprisoned, among them Trotsky, Madame Kollontai and Kamenev; Lenin and Zinoviev went into hiding, fugitives from justice; the Bolshevik papers were suppressed. But the provisional government found itself unable to substantiate its accusations; the documents proving pro-German conspiracy were discovered to be forgeries; and one by one, the Bolsheviki were released from prison without trial, on nominal or no bail, until only six remained.


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The impotence and indecision of the ever-changing provisional government was an argument nobody could refute. And so, while the Mensheviks and socialist revolutionaries involved themselves in compromise with the bourgeoisie, the Bolsheviks rapidly captured the Russian masses. In July they were hunted and despised; by September the metropolitan workmen, the sailors of the Baltic fleet, and the soldiers, had been won almost entirely to their cause.

Ten Days in the Valley

Reed was present at almost every scene he describes. He was in the room; he heard the debates; and he saw the chaos of revolution. By night, armed patrols went through the silent streets, and on the corners soldiers and Red Guards squatted around little fires laughing and singing; in the daytime great crowds gathered on the sidewalks listening to interminable hot debates between students and soldiers, businessmen and workmen.

On his first return to America after the October revolution, he got bogged down in a debilitating series of trials for sedition as a communist. His penchant for trouble-seeking told on his mental and physical health, and he began to suffer from insomnia and depression. By the time he set off back to Russia to participate in the second congress of the Comintern, he was visibly deteriorating from scurvy and malnutrition. Already the revolution was disintegrating into faction fighting.

Reed, always prey to the appeal of a good story, allowed himself to be seconded, on behalf of the Comintern, to another congress in Baku.

The journey wrecked his health and, by the time he returned to Moscow, he was suffering from typhus. It is part of the myth of Ten Days that Reed should die so soon after publication, as a martyr to a great cause. Salamanca Arts Centre Art gallery. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Museum. Cygnet Folk Festival Festival. Arts Tasmania Government organisation. Pages liked by this Page. Launceston Visitor Information Centre. Tamar Valley Writers Festival. South Hobart Living Arts Centre.

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An epic adventure across three weekends through the heartlands of Tasmania Somebody is as happy as we are about our move to Burnie. We are delighted to have Vic McEwan join us for Monday night's forum. His aim is to enrich broader conversations about the role that the arts sector can play within our communities.

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Spiegeltent is an excellent venue even standing in line is fun armed with a good glass of red. Luke McGregor is a very funny chap. I wish he would perform at home more often.