From Fourth International, Vol.10 No.3, March 1949, p.66.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
Our readers did not tarry in responding to our request for comments on Fourth International. Here are some of the suggestions, criticisms and bouquets (which we didn’t ask for but which we certainly appreciate):
From E.M., New York:
“I enjoyed the February issue very much ... especially A Forgotten Fighter Against Plutocracy. And after reading Winston Churchill, Tory War-Dog I couldn’t stomach his serial now appearing in the N.Y. Times. Every article was very good.
“Although the magazine is very good it would not hurt if there were regular articles on the ABC of Marxism, including economics, politics, etc. – something like Leon Trotsky’s 90 Years of the Communist Manifesto. Although members of the party may be well versed in basic theory it seems to me that others could also profit. The material in From the Arsenal of Marxism does not seem to fulfill the purpose.”
* * *
From A. S., Roxbury, Mass. to William F. Warde:
“Just read your article in the January issue A Suppressed Chapter in American History and think it’s one of the best written articles that I’ve read in a long time. Keep up the good work and try to bring out more articles of a similar nature in future issues.”
* * *
From M. W., Cleveland:
“I have been so pleased with the last two issues that I felt impelled to tell you so and urge you to continue the improvement. They are something we can be proud to sell to anyone. On the February issue, in addition to high praise I have one criticism and a suggestion or two. First before saying anything else I am sure that no further issues will appear with the incorrect crediting to the author on the cover. (The editor – and the printer – give their solemn promise it will never happen again – B.M.)
“Criticism: the excerpts published under Arsenal of Marxism in the Feb. issue seemed to me to be far below standard. The whole thing was sort of pointless, and would seem especially so to a new reader. We should have some better weapons in our Arsenal than the above and here I come to the suggestion.
”Would it not be a good idea to publish under this heading some excerpts of the lesser-known and less widely circulated works of Lenin and Trotsky. Some of these are known to very few comrades but are theoretically very important and the writing often brilliant. Offhand I would suggest excerpts from Defense of Terrorism and some of the essays in Proletarian Revolution in Russia by Lenin and Trotsky. There are many others.”
* * *
From Grace Carlson, Minneapolis:
“We thought the last issue (January) of the magazine looked very good. Ray used it in his report on the Plenum (SWP National Committee meeting) to demonstrate how we plan to carry on the fight against the renegades, etc. The success of the venture has been reflected in a modest but gratifying increase in FI subs. We plan to have FI articles reviewed as part of the branch educational program. In short – we plan to turn more attention to the magazine than ever before.”
* * *
D. Woods of San Francisco ordered 25 copies of the December FI featuring J. Meyer’s speech on a Revolutionary Answer to the Negro Question for sale at their celebration of Negro History Week. D.C. of St. Louis also ordered extra copies of the same issue for contacts active in Negro work.
* * *
We believe an excellent idea is embodied in the note above. FI agents and others will find excellent material in back numbers of the magazine that can be of service in daily activity. New readers and contacts can profit by reading this material. Write us and we will be glad to supply the issues needed if we have them in stock. From time to time we hope to advertise some of the main features in preceding issues.
* * *
Since the last issue, New York has undertaken an experiment in increasing circulation and approximately 150 newsstands are carrying the FI, many of them featuring a poster reproduction of the front cover. We hope the results will be good. Now how about some reports from other centers on what is being done to increase newsstand sales and sales at meetings?
Last updated on: 4 March 2009