Reed, John. The War in Eastern Europe

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Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1916.

First Edition with publisher's seal to copyright page and dated April, 1916. Beige boards stamped in red and black with 48 black and white illustrations by Boardman Robinson.

A lovely copy, fine indeed, with bright boards, sharp text and straight edges.  The only flaw is an ex-libris stamp (no other markings).

This book is Reed's recounting of his experiences traveling in Central Europe in 1915 accompanied by Boardman Robinson, a Canadian artist and frequent Masses contributor. Traveling from Thessalonki, they saw scenes of profound devastation in Serbia (including a bombed-out Belgrade), also going through Bulgaria and Romania. They passed through the Jewish Pale of Settlement in Bessarabia. In Chelm, they were arrested and incarcerated for several weeks. At risk of being shot for espionage, they were saved by the American ambassador.

Traveling to Russia, Reed learned that the American ambassador in Petrograd was inclined to believe they were spies. Reed and Robinson were rearrested when they tried to slip into Romania. They finally secured permission for them to leave, but not until after all their papers were seized. The duo spent time piecing together more of their journey. At one point Reed traveled to Constantinople in hopes of seeing action at Gallipoli.

Published three years before Ten Days That Shook the World, Reed's account of the Russian Revolution. Reed supported the Soviet takeover of Russia and co-founded the Communist Labor Party of America in 1919.  He died in Moscow in 1920 and was given a hero's burial by the Soviet Union.  The movie "Reds" starring Warren Beatty is a bio-pic of Reed (along with his wife Louise Bryant).