Please note: I have no better idea about any of the actual politics involved than I did before I read this book. This is because there are approximately five million political parties involved, most of them claiming to be Socialist and all of them in a constant process of sitting in on meetings and then storming out on each other in a huff.
(Half the time the storming out in a huff is followed by someone else shouting "YOU ALREADY STORMED OUT LAST NIGHT! WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?")
Anyway, John Reed's version is pretty partisan and only sort of accurate, so everything he says about actual facts has to be taken with a bit of a grain of salt anyway.
What his account does do is give a very good idea of the inevitable confusion that occurs when a country tries to remake all of its social and political structures overnight. Nobody has any idea what's going on in the rest of the country; social structures are in a constant state of flux; half the time half of the national infrastructure is on strike in protest against the other half; people are constantly putting up posters all around the city saying "WORKERS! DON'T LISTEN TO [OTHER POLITICAL PARTY]! WE HATE THEM AND THEIR STUPID FACES." One entire major party decides to boycott all the meetings because they're annoyed that the Bolsheviks have stolen their land reform program and THEY THOUGHT OF IT FIRST, JEEZ. John Reed, the American Socialist journalist who is narrating the whole story, almost gets accidentally executed at least three times by the Bolshevik party, which he supports and has a safe-conduct from; another three times he is blithely able to wander into government areas where he really should not have been without anybody stopping him.
History is chaos, man. Any time, any place -- it's basically amazing that anything ever gets done.