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Source: Oregon Biographies - JR

For John Silas Reed, the conservative, early twentieth century city of Portland could never be "prepared to understand his dreams" of social revolution and change. Born in 1887, Reed grew up in a stately Portland mansion, attended the Portland Youth Academy and later, boarding school. Fascinated with the travels of his uncle and the unfamiliar habits of his family's Chinese servant Lee Sing, Reed's early writings were inspired by his desire to see the world. 

Praised for his poetry and writing skills, Reed graduated from Harvard in 1910 and began a career in journalism in New York. He wrote predominantly for leftist magazines and was celebrated among Greenwich Village radicals. Reed first gained prominence when he covered the 1911 Mexican revolution alongside revolutionary Pancho Villa. The event inspired his romanticized chronicle, Insurgent Mexico. In 1915, Reed toured Eastern Europe reporting on the atrocities and injustices of World War I. He became especially captivated with Russia and its potential for revolution, writing that Russians "are perhaps the most interesting human beings that exist."

Returning home in 1916, Reed was lonely and tired of war, but on a visit to Portland he met Louise Bryant. In Bryant, Reed found his intellectual match. They married in 1916 and departed for Russia to witness the Russian revolution. Reed's 1919 Ten Days That Shook the World was an account of the Bolshevik seizure of power. In 1920, Reed traveled back to the U.S. to coordinate a domestic Communist party. Upon his return to Russia he was imprisoned and held in solitary confinement in Finland. Later released to Russia, a sickly Reed reunited with Bryant, but was tragically stricken with typhus

John Reed died in October 1920. The only American ever buried at the Kremlin, Reed's idealism, intellect, and spirit would inspire radicals to form John Reed Clubs across the United States.
Oregon Biographies - JR

Primary Works

The education of John Reed; selected writings. With an introductory essay by John Stuart. NY: International Publishers,1955. PS3535.E2786 E3

Ten days that shook the world. With a foreword by V. I. Lenin. Edited, with introd. and notes, by Bertram D. Wolfe. NY: Vintage Books, 1960. DK265 .R38

Ten days that shook the world. With a foreword by V. I. Lenin, a preface by N. K. Krupskaya, and a new introduction by John Howard Lawson. NY: International Publishers, 1967. DK265 .R38

Insurgent Mexico. NY: International Publishers, 1969. F1234 .R32

Mexico insurgente. Barcelona: Ariel, 1974. F1234 .R32

Adventures of a young man: short stories from life. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1975. PS3535 E2786 A3

Ten days that shook the world. Harmondsworth, NY: Penguin, 1977. DK265 .R38

Collected poems. edited and with a foreword by Corliss Lamont. Westport, Conn.: Lawrence Hill, 1985. PS3535 .E2786 A17

Selected Bibliography

Charles, John C. "The John Reed Clubs." in Rosendale, Steven. ed. American Radical and Reform Writers: First Series. Detroit: Gale, 2005.

Cheuse, Alan. The bohemians: John Reed & his friends who shook the world: a novel. Cambridge, Mass.: Apple-wood Books, 1982. PS3553 H4385x B6

Colburn, David R. and George E. Pozzetta. Reform and Reformers in the Progressive Era. Westport: Greenwood, 1983.

Duke, David C. John Reed. Boston: Twayne, 1987. PS3535 .E2786 Z68

Gelb, Barbara. So Short a Time: A Biography of John Reed and Louise Bryant. NY: Norton, 1973.

Hicks, Granville. John Reed; the making of a revolutionary. NY: The Macmillan Company, 1936. HX84.R4 H48

Kaplan, Amy E. and Donald E. Pease. eds. Cultures of United States Imperialism. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1993.

Lamont, Corliss. ed. The John Reed centenary. NY: John Reed Centenary Committee, 1988. HX84 .R4 J64x

Lehman, Daniel W. John Reed & the writing of revolution. Athens, OH: Ohio UP, 2002. PS3535 .E2786 Z75

O'Connor, Richard. The lost revolutionary; a biography of John Reed. NY: Harcourt, Brace & World [1967. HX84.R4 O23

Rosenstone, Robert A. Romantic revolutionary: a biography of John Reed. NY: Knopf: distributed by Random House, 1975. HX84 .R4 R67

MLA Style Citation of this Web Page

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 7: John Reed." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. URL: http://www.paulreuben.website/pal/chap7/reed.html (provide page date or date of your login).

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