From Fourth International, vol.5 No.3, March 1944, p.66.
Transcribed, marked up & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.
Aside from the purely business letters from our agents, we receive a minimum of material in regard to Fourth International. Occasionally a thoughtful leader takes time to send us his reaction to a specific article or the magazine in general. For instance, a reader in Detroit wrote:
“Everyone has remarked about the ‘new’ FI, its interest and choice of material.”
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A reader in Akron took the time, to write us as follows:
“I dropped a note to G. suggesting an article for the FI on recent developments in rubber ... I thought the February issue was excellent, and note not only a good quality of subject matter but a real improvement in appearance.”
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A reader in Virginia wrote:
“As for the magazine, it too is up to and beyond snuff. What especially interested me were the two military articles by Leon Trotsky in the December and January issues.
“It so happened that in a course on army organization given us at clerical school, we were given certain 6#8216;Principles of War’ taken from Clausewitz and the first article or parts of it at any rate seemed like almost direct remarks on what we were being taught. Perhaps I wouldn’t have appreciated these articles so greatly if I had read them a few months ago, but I now feel impelled to shout: ‘Where have you been keeping these? And if there are any more, for God’s sake, print them at the earliest possible time!’”
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A few days ago a stranger walked into our office, asking if he could buy some copies of the February Fourth International. He wanted 15 copies of that issue. In answer to our inquiry as to why he was interested in this particular issue he said: “I’m interested in the article on nationalist thought ... I’m a member of the International Workers Order ... we are having a convention soon and I want to mail out this article so that they can read it.”
(The article referred to is New Trends in Nationalist Thought on the European Problems by J.B. Stuart.)
The Civil Rights Defense Committee has informed us that they have received good response to the ad carried on the back page of the February Fourth International asking for aid to the eighteen class-war prisoners and their families. We wish to thank those readers of Fourth International who have already responded to this plea and urge that all of our readers help by contributing to the Minneapolis Prisoners Pardon & Relief Fund, c/o Civil Rights Defense Committee,160 Fifth Avenue, NY 10, N.Y.
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Letters received during the month from our readers abroad are a source of inspiration. We quote from some of them:
“As a very interested reader of Fourth International and The Militant, is it possible for you to send me these two journals? If so I will obtain a permit to pay you for them.
“Am just reading the October issue of the FI which gives some very good surveys of the situation. I was very interested and enlightened in the two articles by Leon Trotsky on the report of the Comintern in the August and September issues. He certainly had a marvellous understanding of international affairs and how each knitted in, one with the other. You are doing a great service to the advanced workers in printing this kind of material.
“Would be very grateful indeed if you could let me have some of the literature you advertise on the back of the October issue. We are very short of these most essential works over here.”
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“I have not yet received the July issue of Fourth International nor the September issue. The latter may yet be on the way but the former has apparently been held up by the censor or something. One copy only appears to have reached our Glasgow comrades.
“At the moment here, it is like living on top of a volcano. Nothing of any magnitude is happening on the class war front but any moment violent eruptions can and will take place.”
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“In conclusion, please convey our sincerest thanks to the SWP for the wonderful files of material which they sent us. At the moment they are away for binding purposes – the younger comrades are very eager to get down to study ...”
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For sometime now we have been wondering how we can liven up the Manager’s Column, how we can make this column of more interest to our readers. The most persistent thought concerning this problem is to turn the column over to our readers. But immediately on the heels of this thought comes the question, how! How to encourage our readers to utilize the column for suggestions, criticisms, ideas for improving the contents or circulation of the magazine? Perhaps there are times you would like to contest a point made in an article or add supplementary material. Why not submit these thoughts! Letters of such nature would be highly valuable as well as extremely interesting not only to our readers but to the Business Management of the magazine as well.
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Last updated on 12.9.2008