John Reed and Louise Bryant

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John Reed and Louise Bryant

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American journalists John Reed and Louise Bryant provided vivid accounts of their first-hand experiences of the October Revolution. Reed published his experiences in the book Ten Days that Shook the World. Braynt published Six Red Months in Russia. Both were prolific contributors to the socialist political and literary magazines of the time including A Revolutionary AgeThe CommunistThe Masses, and The Liberator, among others.

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American journalists John Reed and Louise Bryant provided vivid accounts of their first-hand experiences of the October Revolution. Reed published his experiences in the book Ten Days that Shook the World. Bryant published Six Red Months in Russia. Both were prolific contributors to the socialist political and literary magazines of the time including A Revolutionary Age, The Communist, The Masses, and The Liberator, among others, in addition to mainstream media outlets. Bryant, in particular was widely published by Hearst media and became known for her sympathetic coverage of the Bolsheviks. As talented writers and witnesses to the Revolution, and on the basis of their access to leading Bolshevik political figures including Lenin and Trotsky, the couple became powerful voices for the “truth of Russia” during the immediate post-Revolutionary period. 

 

“On the grey horizon of human existence looms a great giant called Working Class Consciousness… It all depends on us whether he will turn into a loathsome, ugly monster demanding human sacrifices or whether he shall be the saviour of mankind. We must use great foresight, patience, understanding.... We must somehow make an honest effort to understand what is happening in Russia.” - Louise Bryant, Six Red Months in Russia

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Kelly O'Neill

True confession: I've never read Six Red Months in Russia. I shall have to, in part because I am curious why it is that Reed's narrative remains a widely-assigned text in history classrooms, while Bryant's narrative is relatively unknown.

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