The most famous first-hand account of the Bolshevik Revoluti

The most famous first-hand account of the Bolshevik Revolution was written by an American . John Reed, an American journalist, was in Russia during the Revolution and sympathized with the Bolsheviks. He witnessed the fall of the Winter Palace, the event that started the Revolution. He eventually returned to America and wrote about his experiences and observations. Ten Days that Shook the World was published in 1919. Reed journeyed back to Moscow where he died not long after the book was published. He was happy to know that Lenin had read it and liked it. John Reed is one of only a few Americans whose remains are entombed in the Kremlin wall.Reading a Primary SourceIn the following excerpt of Reed’s book, he describes how the Russian Army protested fighting in World War I. Read the excerpt below.Along a thousand miles of front the millions of men in Russia’s armies stirred like the sea rising, pouring into the capital their hundreds upon hundreds of delegations, crying “Peace! Peace!”I went across the river to the Cirque Moderne, to one of the great popular meetings which occurred all over the city, more numerous night after night. The bare, gloomy amphitheatre, lit by five tiny lights hanging from a thin wire, was packed from the ring up the steep sweep of grimy benches to the very roof—soldiers, sailors, workmen, women, all listening as if their lives depended upon it. A soldier was speaking—from the Five Hundred and Forty-eight Division, wherever and whatever that was:“Comrades,” he cried, and there was real anguish in his drawn face and despairing gestures. “The people at the top are always calling upon us to sacrifice more, sacrifice more, while those who have everything are left unmolested.“We are at war with Germany. Would we invite German generals to serve on our Staff? Well we’re at war with the capitalists too, and yet we invite them into our Government….“The soldier says, ‘Show me what I am fighting for. Is it Constantinople, or is it free Russia? Is it the democracy, or is it the capitalist plunderers? If you can prove to me that I am defending the Revolution then I’ll go out and fight without capital punishment to force me.’“When the land belongs to the peasants, and the factories to the workers, and the power to the Soviets, then we’ll know we have something to fight for, and we’ll fight for it!”In the barracks, the factories, on the street-corners, endless soldier speakers, all clamoring for an end to the war, declaring that if the Government did not make an energetic effort to get peace, the army would leave the trenches and go home.The spokesman for the Eighth Army:“We are weak; we have only a few men left in each company. They must give us food and boots and reinforcements, or soon there will be left only empty trenches. Peace or supplies… either let the Government end the war or support the Army….”For the Forty-sixth Siberian Artillery:“The officers will not work with our Committees, they betray us to the enemy, they apply the death penalty to our agitators; and the counter-revolutionary Government supports them. We thought that the Revolution would bring peace. But now the Government forbids us even to talk of such things, and at the same time doesn’t give us enough food to live on, or enough ammunition to fight with….”In the previous lesson, you read an excerpt from John Reed’s book Ten Days That Shook the World. The excerpt included arguments used by Russian soldiers to justify why they did not want to fight in World War I.For this journal assignment, develop a short argument of one or two paragraphs in which you either support or reject the soldier’s claim. You will either support the soldier’s claim that he should not be forced to fight without adequate supplies, or you will argue that a soldier should follow orders and fight regardless. Remember to include these parts of an argument:State your claim.Give evidence that proves your claim is correct.State a counter-claim (an opposing argument), and then tell why it is not valid.Conclude your argument by summarizing reasons why the audience should agree with your claim.

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