From New International, Vol.4 No.8, August 1938, pp.226 & 255.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
“THE best all-around issue so far” – was the general verdict on the July issue We think so too, but there’s better to come. All party branches and YPSL circles, with one important exception, continued to do well in circulating the magazine. Praise from far and wide reached the office more than ever before ... Yet the fly is trying to climb into the ointment, and has its feet already on the edges. Summer always takes its toll with radical publications; circulation is affected. But The New International disposed of its entire July output – only a small quantity still on hand – and if Local New York had done even its usual part, there would have been quite a shortage. New York slumped inexcusably with the July issue, almost entirely because of neglect and indifference by a few party branches and the YPSL, despite strong efforts by literature director, Abe Miller. Over 200 less copies than usual were sold – an amount easily covered, and more, if the Party and YPSL members endeavored to circulate the magazine in various places: open air concerts at stadiums, college and university summer schools, street meetings and more adequately among party and YPSL members themselves. Wake up, New York! You’re needlessly careless, when properly you should be way ahead of the procession in NI circulation.
By such slumps as above indicated, the very existence of the magazine is endangered, without good cause. Fortunately, circulation not only kept up everywhere, but increased again in numerous instances, so that July was a virtual sell-out again. BUT – BUT: Agents this past month have been slow in making their bundle payments, thus placing the magazine in a tight financial spot. So hurry along the bundle payments. And another reminder: Quite a few subscriptions have expired. Renewals can no doubt be easily obtained if the branches will proceed to visit the subscribers. That means much-needed money and steady readers. Get busy at once! New subscriptions in June were the highest to date, primarily because of the successful subscription drive being conducted by Minneapolis and St. Paul. It can be done! July so far has been very slow in this field.
The past month brought new bundle orders and numerous increases in bundles. New orders: San Pedro, Calif., G.W., agent; Portland, Ore.; Worcester, Mass., P.T. agent (with an immediate re-order and permanent increase); Evansville, Ind., H.S., agent, with payment for bundle a year in advance (swell idea, comrades, pick it up) ; Edinburgh, Scotland; 4th International Group, Johannesburg, South Africa, and Bombay, India! Our slogan: The NI in every port and every town on land and sea.
Increases in orders: Brisbane, Australia, A. Sinclair, agent, 6 to 10 to 15 copies; WIS group, London, Mildred Kahn, agent, another increase – to 42 copies; Allentown, Pa., active Ruth Querio, agent, from 5 to 15 copies regularly (20 of June) ; T. Mercer, Glasgorw, Scotland, 12 to 24 copies; Cleveland, Gerry Arnold, agent, ordered an additional 15 copies of the July and five of the June issue ... However, there were some small decreases, attributed by the comrades to the summer period. Some losses come from non-payment of bills, necessitating cut-offs altogether. Don’t let this unnecessary thing happen, agents.
Party and YPSL units changed agents in numerous places. Ann Charloff took over in Los Angeles; Morris Slavin went to Youngstown from Columbus, and Harvey Dawes shifted from Youngstown to Columbus: an even trade, both good workers. Lou Merrit is now the agent in Newark, N. J.; Doris Cooper in Toledo; and Olin Stevens in Rochester, N.Y.
They and our readers all have lots to say about The New International, with numerous suggestions for future articles. From Karolyn Kerry, Oakland: “June issue was a humdinger and was well received out here.” Dare Burbank, St. Louis comments specifically: “The June issue makes a fine impression; the cover is especially good ... It is extremely important that we give The New International as much dignity as possible, both in contents and format ... Many people will respond to this sort of thing; in other party projects we cannot afford the luxury of dignity very often. Trotsky’s article is superb, of course ...” Says Morris Slavin, Youngstown, “The July issue is a masterpiece. If you can keep up the good work, we’ll stabilize the NI in short time.” And from many others: “Splendid”; “Best number yet; superlatives inadequate”; “More interesting each issue”; a union worker in Texas says, “Received the swell issues”; and so on.
These comrades back up their praise, too, with work for the magazine. From Chicago, Karl Shier writes that a visit to a vacation camp in South Haven resulted in ten copies sold. P.O. News sold 23 copies of July issue on the first day. Max Weinrib and Ray Carlton apparently are the leading salesmen in Chicago, and Sam Alberts, a visiting New Yorker has been ably assisting Shier. Carlton sells 10 copies regular to members of his union group.
Abroad, hard-working comrades like Margaret Johns and Ed Fitzroy of London continue their good work, as do comrades in Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool. The NI agents in Sydney, Australia, N. Origlasso and B. Palley now dispose of 65 copies between them; and in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, agents Paul Koston and Max Sapire import a hundred copies.
Young and old, we get them all for the NI: A 78 year old revolutionist, R.G. Junkin, from Shedd, Oregon, subscribes to and reads the magazine carefully, and in response to a query concerning his interest, writes: “You ask if I’m a farmer or industrial worker. I am not either. I get an old age relief pension. I am 78 years of age ... I was one of the five candidates of the Socialist Party of Oregon in 1932 for Presidential elector ... Please also send me the program, constitution and by-laws of the Socialist Workers Party.” Keenly alive to the problems of the day. Do all YPSL and party members read The New International?
With all that’s happening in Palestine, a reader at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Palestine, takes time to write us:
“The people over here, workers and intelligentsia, have read The New International with the greatest enthusiasm. The articles as well as the ideas, theoretical and tactical, have drawn the interest of many English-reading persons. Especially in these days, in which science and literature have become means in the hands of the bourgeoisie and their lackeys ... in which Stalinism, the agent of Soviet bureaucracy and bourgeois cretinism, has become a yoke and a brake on revolutionary Marxist thought – it is most encouraging to see that there are yet in the international working class groups which boldly hold up the banner of revolutionary Marxist thought and struggle. We are especially glad that the problems of the colonies and the imperialist policy of the European and American bourgeoisie have found a considerable expression in The New International.”
A traveling book salesman, writing from the State of Washington, comments: “I have a rather wide reading experience in the radical press, but I think The New International is incomparably superior to anything else I have ever seen.”
A reader and agent in Aberdeen, Scotland says that “The New International is of a very high standard, a journal greatly needed in these days, when so much reactionary political tactics are in the world”.
And there it is. It’s up to our party and YPSL members to intensify their efforts for the magazine. First, of course, to ensure its existence, which right now is truly precarious (it costs a lot to get out a magazine like the NI these days); and second, to speed up the issuance of a 48-page magazine. Let’s get going!
Last updated on 6.8.2006