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Essay Question 5 How useful is the eyewitness account of the Bolshevik revolution by John Reed for an historical understanding of the Bolshevik revolution John Reeds Ten Days that Shook the World immediately stands out as a crucial primary historical source on the Bolshevik revolution His eye witness account of the events in Petrograd are important as the revolutionary actions that took place similarly replicated events that took place all over Russia Reed creates an insight into the events actions feelings and emotions of the Bolshevik revolution that has not been replicated There was no other similar documents to Reeds at the time and thus Ten Days stands out as one of the key primary sources on the time period Despite scholarly debate as to the accuracy and excess emotion rather than fact in Reeds work it is widely agreed that his text is crucial for a complete understanding of the Bolshevik revolution As Bertram D Wolfe writes Whether because of or despite the dream which possessed him as literature Reeds book is the finest piece of eyewitness reporting the revolution produced 1 Immediately in the preface to the book Reed makes clear the reasons why he has written the text Just as historians search the records for the minutest details of the story of the Paris Commune so they will want to know what happened in Petrograd in November 1917 the spirit which animated the people and how the leaders looked talked and acted It is with this in view that I have written this book2 Here we see the sort of understanding he wants his readers to have achieved an eyewitness account of the Bolshevik revolution with details on the spirit of the people and incredible insight on the leaders actions and beliefs during the revolutionary period Like all historical documents Reeds is undoubtedly biased He attempts to be a reporter of facts and events but in the preface
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