Die Biographie von John Reed (1887-1920)
|Reed, John (1887-1920), amerikanischer Journalist und Schriftsteller, geboren in Portland (Oregon, USA), Studium an der Universität Harvard. Ab 1913 war Reed Mitarbeiter der radikalen Zeitschrift The Masses; 1914 wurde er mit seinen eindringlichen Reportagen über die mexikanische Revolution für das Metropolitan Magazine weit bekannt; außerdem berichtete er über die Arbeitskämpfe in den USA, u. a. über den Bergarbeiterstreik von 1914 in Colorado. Während des 1. Weltkrieges war Reed Kriegsberichterstatter und schrieb das Buch The War in Eastern Europe (1916). |
Während seines Russlandaufenthalts von August 1917 bis April 1918 freundete er sich mit Lenin an, außerdem war er unmittelbarer Zeuge der Oktoberrevolution von 1917; sein bekanntestes Buch, Ten days that shook the world (1919; Zehn Tage, die die Welt erschütterten), ist ein Augenzeugenbericht über die Oktoberrevolution.
Nach seiner Rückkehr in die USA wurde Reed im August 1919 aus der Sozialistischen Partei der USA ausgeschlossen. Reed gründete daraufhin die Communist Labour Party (Kommunistische Arbeiterpartei) und wurde deren Vorsitzender. Des Hochverrats angeklagt, floh Reed in die Sowjetunion. Er starb in Moskau an Typhus und wurde neben anderen prominenten Sozialisten an der Kremlmauer beigesetzt.
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The biography of John Reed (1887-1920)
| American journalist and poet-adventurer whose life as a revolutionary writer ended in Russia but made him the hero of a generation of radical intellectuals. Reed became a close friend of V. I. Lenin and was an eyewitness to the 1917 October revolution, recording this event in his best-known book Ten Days That Shook The World (1920). Reed is buried with other Bolshevik heroes beside the Kremlin wall. |
John Reed was born in Portland Oregon into a wealthy family. At college he joined the swimming team and the dramatics club, and served on the editorial board of the Harvard Monthly and Lampoon, and was class orator and poet. After graduating from Harvard in 1910 Reed travelled in England and Spain and upon his return to America started his career as a journalist in the leftist magazines. He was one of the leading socialists of the New Review and The Masses.
During this time Reed made close friends with Mabel Dodge, the rich hostess, who helped organize the 1913 Armory Show which brought Cubism to New York and who ran her salon at 23 Fifth Avenue. In 1913 Reed published his first book, Sangar, a collection of poems. In 1914 he was arrested for trying to speak for striking silk worker in Paterson, New Jersey and wrote then The Pageant of the Paterson Strike, which was enacted at Madison Square Garden, as a benefit to aid the workers. Reed was arrested several times for organizing strikes and he soon became a radical leader.
In the early 1910s Reed went to Mexico to cover the Mexican revolution for the Metropolitan Magazine. He spent four months with Pancho Villa and his troops and described the revolutionary fighting in Insurgent Mexico (1914).
During World War I, Reed worked as war correspondent for the Metropolitan Magazine, where some of his stories were rejected on the basis of leftist sympathies. Reed's reports on the fighting in Germany, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Russia were publsihed in The war in Eastern Europe (1916). Reed was forced to return to the United States for an operation that removed one of his kidneys. In the early 1917 he married the journalist Louise Bryant and travelled with her to Russia to witness and report on the October Revolution in St. Petersburg for The Masses. His pro-Communist and anti-war articles were partly responsible for that journal's indictment and trials on the grounds of sedition.
In 1919 he organized the Communist Labour Party and was founder and first editor of the Voice of Labour. For a short time he was also the Soviet consul in New York. When the Communist Party and the Communist Labor party split in 1919 Reed became the leader of the latter. After charges of treasons he fled America by ship to Finland where the authorities kept him in prison before exchanging him for Russian-held Finnish prisoners of war. In prison Reed wrote more poetry and outlined a pair of novels, which he never completed.
In Russia he gave speeches and was joined by Bryant, whom he had secretly contacted. At the peak of his career Reed was stricken with typhus and he died on October 19, 1920. Reed's popularity as a radical leader led to the creation of John Reed clubs across the United States. His life was subject for the successful 1981 motion picture Reds.
Ten Days That Shook the World focused on the crucial moment of history, when Lenin pressed the Bolsheviks to seize power. Workers, soldiers, peasants, and sailors stormed the Winter Palace, Trotsky announced the overthrow of the provisional government, and counterrevolutionary forces threatened Moskow. Reed recounts conversations and arguments, details political machinations and speculates on personal motives. Although Reed's enthusiasm for the revolution infuses the text his book gives a unique, firsthand account of the event.
Film:The Reds, dir. by Warren Beatty, 1981, depicting the last years of John Reed, who goes with his wife to Russia and writes Ten Days That Shook The World.
For further reading:John Reed by G. Hicks (1936, rev. 1968); Writers on the Left by D. Aaron (1961); The Lost Revolutionary by D.L. Walker (1967); So Short a Time by B. Gelb (1973); John Reed by T. Hovey (1975); Romantic Revolutionary by R.A. Rosenstone (1975); Six Who Protested by F.C. Giffin (1977); Friend and Lover by V. Gardner (1982); John Reed by D.C. Duke (1987); John Reed by E.Homberger (1990)
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