John Reed: Reporting the Russian Revolution

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 9:00am to Monday, November 13, 2017 - 5:00pm
John Reed

Fisher Family Commons, CGIS Knafel Building, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Open hours: Monday - Friday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m.-9 p.m.

10 Days that Shook the World, hastily written in a New York apartment in 1918, is arguably the most important first hand account of the Russian Revolution in English. Its unlikely author, John Silas Reed, was born to a wealthy family in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Harvard University in 1910. Determined to forge a career as a writer and committed to reporting on class struggle, Reed traveled across the Atlantic to Petrograd in 1917. Ensconced in Petrograd, he became acquainted with the leading Bolsheviks, collected written material, and even participated in revolutionary activity. Reed’s career was cut short when he died in Moscow on October 17, 1920, after contracting scrub typhus. Buried in the walls of the Kremlin, he was remembered as a hero in the new Soviet capital, however, as an ardent socialist, his legacy in his home country was more mixed. This exhibit presents a selection of material (housed in Harvard’s Houghton Library), including photographs and personal items, which showcase his passion and dedication as a writer and political activist. Ultimately, the selected items tell the story of how a young American left home in pursuit of revolution, and what he did once he found it.

RELATED: Reception with Harlow Robinson on Monday, October 23 followed by a screening of Reds at the HFA.

Sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and Houghton Library.

For more information, please call 617-495-4037.