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Fourth International, Spring 1956


From Our Readers


From Fourth International, Vol.17 No.2, Spring 1956, pp.38, 71.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


James P. Cannon’s political estimate of the role of Debs in the history of American socialism, which was featured in the Winter issue of Fourth International, met with a warm response from our readers. In the Twin Cities, where a one-month campaign for subscriptions was organized in April, Cannon’s appreciation of Debs was used in calling attention to the special value and uniqueness of the magazine. Winifred Nelson writes from Minneapolis that “we receive comments” on the Debs Centennial article “every day.” And she expresses her own gratitude for the “fine store of information” that Cannon “puts down on paper in such a choice way.” That sums up the general sentiment of the readers of Fourth International.

While quoting from our Twin Cities Correspondent, we might add that she thought “the Kutcher editorial was really very well done – it was a good account, rounding out and bringing up to date the information on developments in the Case of the Legless Veteran.”

Our Canadian readers continue to demonstrate their lively interest in Fourth International. In Toronto, our correspondent reports, “We have always been able to sell off back issues over a period of time but just lately we have been doing better than ever. Part of it is due to the interest in the Plekhanov articles.” These, it appears, have stirred discussion among university students interested in philosophy and the solutions Marxism offers to its key problems. The order for back issues was accompanied, we note, with a gratifying increase in the regular bundle order.

G.N. of Winnipeg liked the review of Owen Lattimore’s book, Nationalism and Revolution in Mongolia, in the Winter issue, considering it “very perceptive.” He writes,

“I cannot profess to know too much about Mongolia although I am vitally interested in knowing that social conditions have improved there considerably since 1921.”

A Vancouver supporter of Fourth International challenged Jack Scott of The Vancouver Sun to indicate his opinion of Joyce Cowley’s article, Youth in a Delinquent Society, which appeared in our magazine last fall.

Scott began his column in the March 13 issue of the Sun as follows:

“Some of the most provocative and, I’m bound to say, interesting views I’ve read on the problem of juvenile delinquency have came from Joyce Cowley, a writer for the Fourth International.”

Then he quoted the challenge from the person who sent him the copy of the magazine: “Naturally, since this is a Marxist paper, we cannot expect to set Miss Cowley’s views in the capitalist press.”

Scott, however, decided that her views “may be worth examining for that reason alone.” And he added:

“There’s surely same validity to the argument, for example, that younger people are often victims of the new climate of conformity and Miss Cowley rightly criticizes the minimum of political protest to be found these days at universities.”

Scott utilized the rest of his column to present well-chosen excerpts from Joyce Cowley’s study on juvenile delinquency. Since the column appeared on the front page of the local news section, Vancouver readers of the Sun had the unusual opportuniity of getting at least a glimpse of the Marxist approach to this social problem that is disturbing so many families today.

Our thanks to Mr. Scott. And thanks to the reader of Fourth International who believes that if you pound long enough on the door of the capitalist press someone inside might open it at least a crack to see what all the noise is about.

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Last updated on: 7 April 2009