Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project
Leaflet: Red Russia -- The Triumph of the Bolsheviki, John Reed, March, 1918
Published in 1918 in the very first issue of the American socialist magazine The Liberator, this incredible firsthand account of the triumph of the Bolsheviks in 1917 written by John Reed reads like a thriller.
It has twists and turns, threats and counter threats, confused pivots when at any moment everything could go wrong, and, ultimately the initial seizing of power.
Lenin and Trostsky are the principal revolutionary characters in the drama that unfolds and Reed interviews Trotsky. It is all the more compelling when one realizes that this was published mere weeks after the Bolsheviks took control of Petrograd and when it was by no means clear that they would hold it.
As we now know a terrible civil war lay ahead.
Reed, of course, went on to write perhaps the most famous book about the revolution itself, Ten Days That Shook the World. He died in October 1920 in Moscow at the young age of 32.
The article ends with words that still inspire today:
"Comrades! Greeting from the first proletarian republic of the world. We call you to arms for the international social revolution."
(Click on scans to enlarge)