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Fourth International, September 1944


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, vol.5 No.9, September 1944, p.258.
Transcribed, marked up & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.


Letters from our readers attest to the high educational value of articles in Fourth International. We quote from several.


“In recent months I have found myself anxiously looking forward to receiving the FI It has recently been impressed on me that the magazine helps me a great deal in talking to end arguing with other workers in my shop I’ve found that, with my ability to explain to my shopmates the true meaning of the main events occurring throughout the world, my prestige with these fellows has increased enormously.

“Upon receivtng the July issue of the magazine I realized that, wheras formerly I would read the articles in the order in which they would appear, with the last few issues I have been turning first to Trotsky’s articles on the military tasks of the Soviet Union. I think the series has been excellent.”

(The series of articles by Trotsky, Our Current Basic Military Tasks, appeared in the May, June and July issues.)


The Militant and Fourth International come through at odd times, but we do not receive every issue of the latter. There are some issues which we are very sorry to miss, in particular the February issue, containing an article on the National Question by Comrade Stuart. As we are studying this problem at the present in relation to the present situation in Europe, we would be grateful if you could send this one issue and any other material which you think may help.”

(The article by J.B. Stuart, New Trends in Nationalist Thought on European Problems, appeared in the February issue.)


“I have just finished reading the August Memorial issue of the FI and, as after finishing each number for the past ten years, I experienced the same reaction – I have learned something new and have had that which I had previously learned clarified.

“I am in complete agreement wtth the writer of the letter from London (Manager’s Column) – So far as quality is concerned, it is absolutely the best thing in the whole political field, nothing to compare with it at all.’

“I note also, among the notes in the Manager’s Column that you have indexes for the various volumes of Fourth International. I have a complete file in unbound state and as I contemplate having them bound, I would greatly appreciate your sending me the indexes for as far back as you have them.”

(We have indexes for 1938 and through 1943 which we will send upon request to our readers who have copies of Fourth International to be bound.)

*   *  *  *

Our agents are doing a good job in building up the circulation of Fourth International.

“I am very concerned about increasing our FI circulation. To me it seems that the closest estimate of the real strength of the party can be determined by the sale of the magazine, especially when there are few intellectuals who buy the FI out of curiosity. And even an increased demand by these elements would have its significance for they are the first to flock around a resurgent movement, sort of weathervanes.

“In this sense both the increase in circulation of the FI and the sales of The History of American Trotskyism will have great meaning for us. And I by no means underestimate the place of our Militant Subscription Drive which is, of course, another indication of the same thing. Together the signs show the pattern of history, a movement towards revolutionary Marxism.

“Enclosed find payment for the August FI which arrived today. It looks like a wonderful issue, and the cover is extremely attractive which should help the sales greatly.”

*   *  *  *

Letters from our readers in other countries tell of a great need for Marxist literature.

Claygate, Eng.:

“Please accept my best thanks for the numbers of The Militant and Fourth International which you send me. They are really invaluable and you are doing a great service in maintaining them.

Re the contents, I think the standard is still very good. The articles on Japan were very illuminating. As mentioned once before, I should like to see in the documentary section some reprints of the documents and speeches of the early Congresses of the Communist International,n which are not available here, also as much documented information aa possible on the USSR in view of the continuing reactionary changes there.”

Middle East Forces:

“I notice that you are sending me the issues of the magazine which I previously reported not having received in 1943 and I deeply appreciate your kindness.

“You will be pleased to hear that I received Leon Trotsky’s book from Pioneer Publishers at the same time as your letter and have already read it through once. I am in complete agreement with the points made therein regarding the theoretical education of young people. The works of certain Marxists mentioned are mostly unknown to me. Is it possible for you to let me know if any works of Franz Mehring, Plekhanov and Antonio Labriola are available in America?

“I enclose $5 with this letter to pay for my subscription to the magazine for 1944 and 1945. It is undoubtedly the most important and invaluable Marxist reading in the world for those who want to keep abreast of events.”

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Last updated on 12.9.2008