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Fourth International, July-August 1950


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol.11 No.4, July-August 1950, p.98.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


“I think the latest issue of the FI is splendid. I gave my copy to a friend who was very impressed.” This opinion, expressed by J.H. of London, England, seems to sum up the general reaction of our subscribers to the May-June Fourth International which was devoted to Marxism and the Negro Struggle.

“Please send us 20 more copies,” Dixon Woods of San Francisco wrote us. “Last night after the Literature Committee meeting, I sat down and read the new FI from cover to cover. It’s really a superb, all-around theoretical and programmatic treatment of the Negro question. Since our headquarters here is in the center of the Negro business district, we expect many new readers and contacts through this issue.”

A few days later, Dixon reported that a subscriber told him this is “the first time she has gotten a rounded, theoretical picture of the Negro question, and she especially praised the article Equality under the Welfare State for the way in which it shows the development of the Negro question according to the historical laws of capitalist development. And this after years of ‘education’ which she had in the Communist Party. In that connection, she thought the article Stalinism and Negro Intellectuals very much to the point.”

The Pittsburgh comrades doubled their usual order when they heard about the plans for this issue and then after getting the bundle, Freddie Forrest sent a postcard: “This issue of the FI is going like hot-cakes. Please send us immediately 15 more copies. We think the issue is great and hope it sells that well everywhere.”

The Boston branch of the Socialist Workers Party at first thought 35 extra copies of the issue would do. Then after thinking it over, they decided they could do better since the NAACP was holding a convention in their city. Here’s Sid’s report: “We think the sales were phenomenal. The total was 102 copies sold to delegates and five copies in a neighborhood store.” That was the score a few”days after getting their bundle.

As a starter, Detroit sent for 125 extra copies. “We feel it can be of great aid to us here,” Literature Agent Howard Mason told us. “It’s going to receive the widest circulation throughout the city that we can give it.”

A few weeks later, Howard wrote again:

“It’s a very fine issue. All reports are unanimous on this and sales the first week reflected the enthusiasm. One comrade told me he has no trouble selling them. Just shows the cover and asks for the quarter. But the gratifying thing is that he has had people look him up the next day and comment favorably on the articles they read. I think another order of 75 copies would be a proper amount at this time.”

The Philadelphia branch of the SWP took and extra 65 copies to begin with. They expect “to use the issue to good advantage during the election campaign.”

Chicago ordered 25 extra copies; Oakland, 9; Flint, 17; and New York, 100.

May we remind our literature agents that we can still fill orders for more copies?

* * *

Although Fourth International is published in the very citadel of world imperialism; its real ties are with the working people everywhere. Our aim is to serve their theoretical needs in the struggle for socialism. Consequently, comments from our readers abroad are particularly welcome, whether critical or otherwise, as they indicate how well we are succeeding in living up to our aim.

Here’s a letter from R.S.B. of Ceylon we appreciated:

“There is a dog-fight for FIs here. So I will have to request you to increase our bundle by another 25 copies. The members like to take the FI home to chew. Then they file it or try amateur binding. There is not one left of the January-February issue and about five comrades furious with me that I didn’t give them copies. Please send 25 more of that issue as well as March-April.

“The FI has kept up a very high standard, especially since last August. We were of course very sorry that it had to become a bi-monthly. We do miss the Arsenal of Marxism. For most, it is the first time Trotsky’s articles become available. There are very few who can afford to buy or even borrow the big works. They are scarce here. Also I think that a restatement of FI positions, showing how well they have been vindicated by events is important. Do try to get in some of Trotsky’s articles. There must be many never before published in English.”

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Last updated on: 18 March 2009