Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

The New International, May 1939


At Home


From New International, Vol.5 No.5, May 1939, p.130.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


FOR the first time in 16 months it became necessary to curtail the number of copies sent abroad. This was caused primarily by delinquency in payments of a few important domestic accounts. We hope that full shipments abroad can be resumed soon.

However, results during the month of March, set aside by the Party for holding affairs for the benefit of the Sustaining Fund of The New International, were extremely poor; flop is the proper word. A few more of the smaller Branches held such parties, with varying outcome. Lynn, Mass., SWP did very well, its social netting $21.27 for the magazine, as did Washington, B.C., with $7.00; Akron’s social netted $4.45; Rochester, N.Y., $5.35; Quakertown, Pa., $1.50. Nationally, less than $100.00 accrued to the magazine from affairs. Very few were held, as the reports show. The large cities just passed the special NI month by with divers reasons given. It appears, due to various causes, that The New International will have to sink or swim on the waters of circulation, general sales and, above all, subscriptions. Can this be accomplished, as has been the case till now ? We think it must; since the loss of our theoretical organ is surely unthinkable to all Fourth International supporters and sympathizers. With all this in mind, we continue to take up the work and attitude of the larger cities toward The New International.

Of all cities, Local Los Angeles has acted the most carelessly, and for a long period of time. On various occasions in the past it has been necessary to inform the Los Angeles organization that unless it took the matter of all our press, including The New International, more seriously, our publications would not be sent there. The Los Angeles organization has, all too often, just gone blithely on, assuming apparently that it need not pay its bills to The New International, Socialist Appeal, Challenge, etc. Los Angeles, more than any other city, has “contributed” to the financial crises of our press. But that day is ended; and Los Angeles has been impressed with the need to act like grown-ups toward the press, even as it conducts itself splendidly in other fields of work, and is now taking the necessary positive measures for betterment.

There have been numerous changes of literature agents there, but John Murphy has again been assigned to the Literature Department, and in the past he has acted very responsibly. The Los Angeles SWP and YPSL organization is among the larger bodies numerically of our movement. However, the bundle order is down to the figure of 135 copies for both the Party and Youth organizations. With less than 25 subscribers in Hollywood and Los Angeles to compensate for this bundle order, Los Angeles can be said to be rather down the list of magazine circulation. Coupled too often with nonpayment of bills, there is legitimate grievance in the National Office with Los Angeles in this respect. This situation can and has to be remedied swiftly. A concerted Subscription Drive by the Party and YPSL members can quadruple the quantity of subscribers in L.A. In the 1934-1936 period of the magazine, Los Angeles had more than twice the number of subscribers that it has now. “Objective factors” is too easy an excuse to explain the low number of subscribers. The subjective factor is the reason, and also the answer. That means for the Los Angeles Party and Youth Executive Committees to organize and develop a systematic subscription campaign. Los Angeles knows how; go to it and make a success of a subscription drive!

At the same time, through the medium of covering public meetings, unions, open air gatherings, contacts, etc., in a regular manner, the bundle circulation can unquestionably easily be sharply increased. It is unlikely that the Los Angeles Party and Youth comrades will permit, for as much as an issue longer, the magazine bundle order to remain at the figure of 135 copies. Comrade Murphy writes in a manner which makes clear that he is serious about the task of building The New International circulation. We hope and expect the Los Angeles members to join in full and active cooperation. An important start to improve matters has been made with the Dance scheduled for April 29 for The New International, and excellent circulars issued to promote circulation; plus a payment on account just received.

NEW ORDERS: Winnipeg, Canada, 6 copies. .Berkeley, Cal. SWP, C.S., agent, 10 copies. Pioneer Book Shop, London, England, 24 copies. New Brunswick, N.J., M. Meyers, agent, 8 copies. Newark, N.J. YPSL (Newark University), 10 copies. New Castle, Pa., O.M., agent, 5 copies. Havana, Cuba, 5 copies.

INCREASES IN BUNDLE ORDERS: Rochester, N.Y., James Brown, agent, from i5 to 25 copies. Rochester has been steadily going forward. Washington, D.C., Nick O., agent, from 5 to 8 copies. San Francisco, Cal., Bill F., new agent, from 60 to 78 copies. Fresno, Cal., Eugene Mc., agent, from 8 to 10 copies.

DECREASES IN BUNDLE ORDERS: Detroit, Mich., from 50 to 35 – expect to go up again soon; St. Louis, Mo., from 40 to 25; have pretty good subscription lists to compensate ; Cleveland, Ohio, from 40 to 25: a weak spot due to specific causes; San Diego, from 8 to 5 – two members at large there; Chicago, from 240 to 190; can easily pick up again, we think, both bundle order and subscriptions. Oakland, Cal., from 30 to 15; East Oakland, Cal., from 15 to 10.

Some locals and agents, both in the United States and abroad, are being eliminated – unless improvement takes place. These will be dealt with probably in the next At Home column. By and large, therefore, the circulation of the magazine stayed at its customary level, but there is every reason to expect net increased circulation of both bundles and subscriptions.

Subscriptions during March improved considerably; the bulk of these subscriptions were renewals, and of the latter there are still more than two hundred renewals pending. Agents, get going after the renewals at once! Most of these subscriptions were from New York and Minneapolis.

NEW AGENTS: Bernard George, Columbus; Carmen Mikosz, Toledo; L.A. Maroney, Melbourne, Australia; M.W., Houston, Texas.

The Boston agent, John Tabor, writes: “Many people state that The New International ... is a great magazine on international topics,” and from Copenhagen, Denmark, we are told: “An excellent magazine, full of information and brilliant articles and interesting discussions. It is the best revolutionary magazine we know.”

All of which leads us to conclude that it may not be easy, but entirely possible, to increase the circulation in the United States by at least 1,000 more within the next six months. Our agents and comrades know how to achieve this goal. On your mark. Let’s go!

The Manager

Top of page

Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 8.8.2006