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Fourth International, November 1940


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol. I No. 6, November 1940, p. 146.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Last month’s issue was a notable one for the Fourth International. That our comrades, sympathizers and new worker contacts received the magazine with great interest is evidenced by the fact that even as this column is being written, orders are still arriving for the Trotsky Memorial issue.

Here is only a small part of the enthusiastic response to the magazine:

There can be no doubt that hundreds of workers read the Fourth International for the first time during the month of October. What is vitally important now is that these same workers read the November issue of the magazine ... and the December ... and the January 1941.

It is not enough that they have read of the tragic death of the Old Man and that they were moved by his personal letters. It is not even enough that they have read and understood his analysis of the current imperialist war and our role in that war. To become fully class-conscious revolutionaries they must continue to read Marxian theory.

That is the task of every branch…to see that all October contacts continue to receive our theoretical organ .... Fourth International.

* * *

A brief review of branch successes is in order. While nearly all branches reported brisk sales during the past month, we want to commend especially those branches that not only disposed of their regular bundles, but ordered additional copies.

These branches were (in order of the size of bundles): Cleveland, Youngstown, Philadelphia, Plentywood and Hutchinson. We want to give special recognition to Philadelphia.

This branch has long been dormant, as far as the magazine is concerned. With the appointment of Comrade P.R. as the new literature agent, the branch has not only ordered additional copies, but has started to make inroads on its back debts.

All of which goes to show how vitally important to the success of the magazine are the local literature agents. Upon their interest and untiring activity we depend, to a great extent, for the continuance of the Fourth International.

Other branches that are beginning to liquidate their old debts, are: New Haven, St. Paul, Rochester, Youngstown and Reading. Add to this list the following branches that are almost or completely paid up: Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Lynn, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Toledo, Quakertown, Milwaukee and New York.

We’ll make no mention of the rest of the branches except to Bay that your absence from these columns condemns you. A prompt check, however, brings automatic absolution.

* * *

In the past we have offered many suggestions for the solving of your FI financing and distributing problems. We believe enough has been said on this score.

However, a letter has just arrived from Comrade O.B. of Minneapolis, in which he explains his financing method.

The plan seems, to us, to be so simple and yet so practical, that we print part of his letter.

“We are putting on a drive to get individual comrades to be responsible for three copies of the magazine every month. The comrade is to agree to take three copies as soon as the bundle arrives, for which he or she pays 50 cents in advance. The comrades may then either sell or distribute the magazine free. To date, we have the agreement of 14 comrades to go down the line on such a program. The distribution problems, we believe, are now on the road to a solution. We also believe this will lay a good basis for getting subscriptions in the future.”

* * *

A word of warning! This copy of the Fourth International is labeled Vol. 1 N. 6. This means that it was just six months ago that our great nation-wide drive for subscriptions was conducted. It means also, since most subs were for a six month period, that the great majority of subscriptions now on file will expire this month. Each branch must prepare a concerted renewal drive sometime during the month.

All expirations will be forwarded to the branches and no – should fail to receive a personal visit.

All literature agents should be on the alert for their expiration lists! Let’s make the renewals as near 100 percent as possible. We have received many inquiries regarding the deadline for reorders on the Memorial issue of the magazine. This historic issue will be in demand, not only this month and next, but for years to come. We have, therefore, printed several hundred extra copies and can fulfill your orders at any time. It would be a good plan for all branches to have a number of extra copies on hand for distribution to each new contact.

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Last updated on 26 February 2016