Question about John Reed's "The War in Eastern Europe"

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Question about John Reed's "The War in Eastern Europe"

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Dic 3, 2013, 7:35pm

I have a copy of John Reed's The War in Eastern Europe: Travels Through the Balkans in 1915. My edition was published in 1916 by Charles Scribner's Sons as part of their "The War on All Fronts" series. This book sat on my shelf for several years before I finally took it down to read a short while back. In the introduction, I was dismayed to find the editor telling me that Reed's account of being arrested in Poland and other non-essential passages (I am paraphrasing as I do not have the book in front of me) had been removed for the Scribner's edition. I thought to myself, "Wow! Really?"

The more recently published paperback edition seems to be a reprint of the copy I have, as I called a bookseller offering it on ABE. The seller quite kindly investigated and found the unfortunate reference to the removal of the Polish episode and read it to me over the phone.

It occurred to me that somebody in this group (I've also posted this in the Military History group) might know whether the original, non-edited, version of Reed's book had ever been published. So, does anybody have any idea?


Modificato: Dic 4, 2013, 1:10pm

Scribner's published the non-edited version in 1916 and it includes their arrests. There is a copy online at

There is a copy of the edited version online at Google Books but the online copy is dated 1917 and is a part of the War on All Fronts Series.

Jerry Morris

Dic 4, 2013, 2:32pm

Thanks, Jerry. I am looking for a hard copy rather than a digital copy, but it's great to have my question answered. Now that I know that non-edited version exists, I can resume my search on ABE for the right volume. Thanks again and happy holidays.

Dic 7, 2013, 12:00am

> 3 -- My copy is the same as yours, dammit!

Modificato: Dic 7, 2013, 12:06am

> 3 rocketjk -- My copy is the same as yours. Unlike you, however, I hadn't bothered to read it yet. So I was happily ignorant of the fact -- until now. I'd like to know about the relative worth of the two editions. I'm going to operate on the assumption that the 1916 version is worth more money (not that either of them is significantly valuable).

Dic 7, 2013, 12:14am

> OOOOOOOPS! That 1916 edition is worth considerably more. Search on ABE lists 8 copies starting @ $69 and ranging up to $250.

Dic 7, 2013, 9:24am

There's an abebooks seller from South Dartmouth, Ma. who has a 1916 London edition listed for less. Check and make sure he has the unedited edition.

Dic 7, 2013, 12:33pm

I bought the copy from the fellow in South Dartmouth a couple of days ago. I called him up through his bookstore and he was nice enough to go look at the book. It has an introduction by Reed but no publisher's foreward, so I'm fairly confident it's a pre-edit version. I just sent him off a check in the mail (yes, I'm old fashioned) and when the book arrives, I'll report back.

Dic 13, 2013, 5:09pm

Yup, got the book in the mail and it was just what I was looking for. The book was published in London in 1916 by Eveleigh Nash Company Limited. It has chapters called "Arrest a la Russe" and "Prison Life in Cholm," so I'm sure this is the version predating the offending (at least to me) edits in the War on All Fronts edition. Cheers, and thanks to all who have taken part in this thread.

Dic 14, 2013, 1:22am

> 9 -- Congrats on your score! What kind of shape is the book in?

Dic 14, 2013, 12:29pm

#10> Pretty good. The first few pages are coming undone, and there's a little bumping and bruising around the corners of the cover, as you'd expect from a book that's been read a few times, but the pages are clean and the binding is tight, so the reading, which will be happening soon, should be quite pleasurable.

Modificato: Dic 14, 2013, 8:34pm

I'm going to read my 1917 edition as soon as I finish the last 40 pages of The Story of English. So I'll probably meet you at the bottom of The War on All Fronts stack.

By the way: Do you like Richard Harding Davis? I admit I find him good reading even though (at times) it's all I can do to get through some of his puffing, "Hail fellow, well met!" bullcrap. The good part about him is that he knew an awful lot about books and publishing and newspaper journalism, and he led one hell of an adventurous life.

Modificato: Dic 15, 2013, 2:46am

Oddly enough, I haven't read any Davis yet, although I do have With the Allies from the War on All Fronts series on my military history shelf. Also, Real Soldiers of Fortune. One of these days, though!

How is The Story of English?

Modificato: Gen 12, 2014, 5:46pm

> 13 -- Davis was America's foremost war correspondent and true-adventure writer during the latter half of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century (He died in 1919). Most American women would gladly have climbed, naked, into a hot tub with him. He was in every way the equivalent of the '30s era matinee idol or the '60s era rock star. His adventurous escapades are definitely worth any reader's while. For example, Davis once married a bull-dyke because he believed and sought to prove that prolonged and continual exposure to such a manly man as he would cure the "deranged" woman of her "abnormal" desires.

The Story of English is spotty. For the most part it's a good read and I've learned a lot about the history of the English language from reading it. Authors do a good job of staying away from technical terms. They do less well at defining terms such as "diphthong" and at explicating pronunciation of words in which the phonics gets a little weird. On the other hand The Oxford Companion to the English Language doesn't make a particularly hot job of phonics either.

So access to online dictionaries that actually pronounce phonetically freaky words for us is a big help. If I was going to hang stars on The Story of English I'd give it about 3 or maybe 3 and 1/2.

Dic 18, 2013, 3:33am

I am rather late in contributing but I just pulled out my Collected Works of John Reed published by the Modern Library , 1995 with an introduction by Robert A Rosenstone . it contains Reed's Insurgent Mexico, the War in Eastern Europe (with illustrations by Boardman Robinson, with the preface dated NY, March. 2016 ) and Ten Days that Shook The World ( 1919 preface). this is a most attractive volume with handsome dw with photo of John Reed and I can recommend it . I recollect I paid very little for this copy .

Modificato: Dic 18, 2013, 10:32am

Meant to add that Robert Rosenstone also wrote a biography of Reed which is worth having as a companion volume .

Dic 18, 2013, 1:29pm

#15, 16> Thanks for the info. Does the War in Eastern Europe in your collected works include chapters called "Arrest a la Russe" and "Prison Life in Cholm"? If not, that's the edited version as per "The War on All Fronts" series. Just curious which version was included there.

Dic 19, 2013, 10:17am

Yes , indeed the collected work does include those chapters but was because of the discussion here that I became aware of these different textual versions and was then delighted with the quality and coverage in the Collected works .

Modificato: Dic 19, 2013, 11:48pm

> 13, rocketjk -- I finished The Story of English the other night. Those last 40 pages were most interesting, primarily (to me) in pointing out the many different dialects of English that presently exist and continue to pop up around the world. I used to think that English was English and that every variant was some sort of pidgin. Now I think I'll raise my overall estimate from 3 1/2 to 4.

Once a couple of years ago I started reading Frank Harris's bio of Oscar Wilde. I was about 10 pages into Harris when something else (I forget just what) derailed my train. I dropped Frank Harris and ran off chasing another book. Now I've got this breather, Harris caught my eye again while I was excavating my desktop. So I'm going to ease my conscience by reading that before I forget it once again. I'm just Wilde about Oscar.

Gen 5, 2014, 1:33pm

fyi, I devoured The War in Eastern Europe. Simply fascinating, and it was well worth the time and expense to find the unedited version. My review on the book's work page.