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Born Oct. 22, 1887, in Portland, Ore.; died Oct. 17, 1920, in Moscow. American labor leader, writer, and publicist.
The son of a judge, Reed graduated from Harvard University in 1910 and then worked as a journalist. In 1914 he published the book Insurgent Mexico (Russian translation, 1959), which supported the revolutionary struggle of the Mexican people and condemned the interference of the USA in Mexico’s domestic affairs. The essay “War in Colorado” (1914) condemned the violent treatment of striking miners. Reed was a war correspondent during World War I (1914–18). In 1916 he published the book The War in Eastern Europe (in Russian translation, Along the Front, 1928), which revealed the war’s imperialist nature.
Reed came to Russia as a war correspondent in August 1917, sided with the Bolsheviks, and enthusiastically welcomed the October Revolution of 1917. After returning to the USA in 1918, he joined the left wing of the Socialist Party and opposed the right-opportunist leaders who supported the imperialist war. He helped organize the left section of the Socialist Party at a conference of New York’s left-wing organizations held in February 1919 and was made editor of the newspaper New York Communist, which began publication in April 1919. In that year he was also elected a member of the National Left Wing Council. In August and September 1919, Reed helped found the Communist Labor Party of America, which in 1921 merged with the Communist Party of America. He lectured and wrote extensively, telling the American people the true facts about the October Revolution in Russia.
Reed’s book Ten Days That Shook the World, published in the USA in March 1919 (Russian translation, 1923), was a truly innovative work about the October Revolution, combining literary narrative, documentation, and publicist commentary. The book won international renown and was praised by V. I. Lenin, who wrote an introduction to it (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 40, p. 48).
Reed came to Moscow in October 1919. He met with Lenin often, was a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, and attended the Second Congress of the Comintern (July 1920). He died of typhus and was buried in Red Square at the Kremlin Wall. John Reed clubs were founded in the USA in 1929.
WORKSDaughter of the Revolution, and Other Stories. New York, 1927.
An Anthology. Moscow, 1966.
In Russian translation:
Vosstavshaia Meksika, 10 dnei, kotorye potrialsi mir, Amerika 1918. Moscow, 1968.
REFERENCESGilenson, B. On videl rozhdenie novogo mira. Moscow, 1962.
Gladkov, T. Dzhon Rid. Moscow, 1962.
Kramov, I. Dzhon Rid. Moscow, 1962.
Startsev, A. Russkie bloknoty Dzh. Rida. Moscow, 1968.
Dangulov, S. Dvenadtsat’dorog na Egl’. Moscow, 1970.
Drabkina, E. Navstrechu buriam!, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1969.
Hicks, G. John Reed: The Making of a Revolutionary. New York, 1936.
D. Rid: Bibliografich. ukazatel’. Moscow, 1967.
N. V. MOSTOVETS