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Fourth International, May 1949


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol.10 No.5, May 1949, p.130.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Reports on the March issue are still coming in.

“Do you think you could dig up another 50 copies for us?” Literature Agent Howard Mason of Detroit wrote us.

“This is in addition to the extra 25 we ordered last week. The last few issues of the magazine have been excellent. I remember one comrade saying, ‘They show just what can be done with the magazine.’ You can tell from our order what the branch thinks of this latest issue.”

A few days later, we received a follow-up from Comrade Mason:

“If they are still available, would you send 50 more copies, of the March issue. As you can see, this marks an outstanding landmark in Detroit’s sale of the magazine. This is due mainly to the greater time being devoted to this phase by two leading trade unionists.”

These two union men took bundles of the magazine, visited their friends in Detroit and chalked up impressive sales. We need more trade unionists who understand the political importance getting the widest possible circulation for the theoretical magazine of American Trotskyism.

Frank Roberts of Pittsburg tells us that “the last issues of the FI went over tremendously. We have already sold 45 copies of the March issue and are ordering 35 more. One union business agent took six copies for his group in his local. We are all quite proud of the magazine.” Comrade Roberts thinks that “one reason the March issue was so good and. so popular was the article on the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists by Art Preis. It was both good, informative and had popular appeal.” He suggests that one such article a month be “featured” as an introduction to the magazine. The Pittsburg members of the SWP plan to weave discussion of articles in Fourth International with shop reports in their educational meetings.

“The March issue of the FI has sold out completely,” reports Literature Agent J.C. of Flint.

“This I am told is the first time in six years that this has happened in Flint. We would like a special order of 10 extra copies of the April issue.”

* * *

Here is Philadelphia’s reaction, according to Literature Agent George C.:

“This is another rush order. Please send another 15 copies of the March FI as soon as possible. We’ve already sold the 15, which John brought down on Friday night. Three comrades report that the article selling the magazine in their shop is Priests Bore From Within by Art Preis. They also report that the FI is now real workers’ magazine, ‘You keep up the good work writing, and we’ll sell it,’ is the comment of these comrades.”

Chicago ordered 15 extra copies of the March FI.

Literature Agent Frank Rossi writes from West Virginia:

“We are proud of the last few issues. We are especially pleased with the articles by Cochran, Warde and Eckstein. You can’t imagine how much easier our work is with the latest orientation as manifesting itself in the FI. Contacts are much more receptive.”

Fred Martin, Literature Agent for Milwaukee, asked for four more copies of the March, issue. “The articles of Cochran and Cannon are of widespread interest.”

* * *

The Minneapolis comrades are “very, impressed” with the magazine, says Literature Agent C.E.S. The last few issues “are the kind that appeal to workers who want to keep abreast of the political events of the day.” Minneapolis ordered 25 extra copies of the March issue to help “lay the groundwork for getting more subs.”

Literature Agent Harry Gold of New York reports that newsstand sales of the March issue registered a significant increase.

H.L. of Detroit ordered 12 copies of the December 1948 issue containing The Revolutionary Answer to the Negro Problem in the United States by J. Meyer.

Dan Roberts says that “all the comrades” in Seattle are “glad that the FI is on the beam. We made a special drive to place the March FI in the hands of trade-union contacts and we are basing our branch educational on the magazine.”

Literature Agent Phyllis B. of San Francisco ordered 10 additional copies for April “since we are attempting to get them on the stands specifically on the campuses.”

“The March and April issues have really gone over the top,” writes Literature Agent Al Lynn of Los Angeles. He tells us that “one of the first jobs” of the new Literature Agent who has been elected “will be the building up of FI circulation, the prerequisites for which have been established with the development of its contents.”

* * *

From Cleveland, we received an encouraging letter from George Grant:

“The last two FIs lifted the monthly magazine to a new high level as the strongest weapon in our arsenal for education of our ranks. The Ohio comrades were unanimous in their enthusiastic reception and appreciation of both issues. The announcement of the contents of the latest FI with Germain’s contribution on democracy whetted my political appetite. I look forward to its arrival.”

Comrade Grant suggests a “round-up analysis of the German situation in an early issue; that is, a clear picture of what has happened in Germany since the end of the war and a detailed picture of the present situation.”

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Last updated on: 4 March 2009