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Bessie Beatty with
                Russian soldier

Bessie Beatty Home

Bessie Beatty at Oxy

American Girl in Russia

Foreign Correspondent

Screenwriter, Activist, and Radio Host


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Bessie Beatty

Bessie Beatty travelled to Russia to cover the Russian Revolution for the San Francisco Bulletin in 1917 in a column titled "Around the World in Wartime". See photos and journal entries below!

Beatty sailed across the Pacific alone, taking the Trans-Siberian train from China to St. Petersburg. She managed to secure a room in the War Hotel, where Russian officers were living with their wives. From there she witnessed the most significant moments that occurred in revolutionary Russia. She traveled to the trenches where disillusioned Russians were fending off the German advances. She spent a week with the Women’s Battalion of Death, a group of female soldiers devoted to the protection of their country. She interviewed peasants, soldiers, and sailors. Back in St. Petersburg, the eruptions of violence and periods of uneasy peace were visible right on the Nevsky Prospect. On November 7, 1917, the day the Winter Palace fell, Beatty obtained a pass from the Military Revolutionary Committee that allowed access everywhere in the city; she was one of the first civilians to enter the Winter Palace after the removal of the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky. Beatty was present for the meetings of important revolutionaries that decided the fate of Russia. She was there as Lenin and Trotsky argued over the concessions to Germany and at the only meeting of the Constituent Assembly before its downfall. She visited prisoners in Peter and Paul Prison, including the former ministers of the provisional government. Beatty attended the trials of political criminals and the peasant conventions in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Bessie Beatty was present at a crucial time in history: “I had been alive at a great moment, and knew it was great,” she wrote in The Red Heart of Russia, the book she published after her travels.


Bessie Beatty with soldiers

Bessie Beatty in the trenches

The scene in 1917 Petrograd

The Women's Battalion of Death

Bessie Beatty with a soldier a fellow female journalist Louise Bryant

Bessie Beatty's 1917 Journal

The Red Heart of Russia by Bessie Beatty, published 1918

Beatty's reporting headlines the San Francisco Bulletin



" I had been alive at a great moment, and knew it was great"

-Bessie Beatty, The Red Heart of Russia

Page created by Morgan Flake. Page last edited 02/29/2013
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