From New International, Vol.5 No.10, October 1939, p.290.
transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
SINCE our last issue came THE WAR. What the outbreak of the European war means to the toiling peoples of the world is indicated in our press.
Specifically, too, we have made clear what the war means to our magazine, The New International. Through a circular to all units of the Socialist Workers Party and the YPSL (Fourth Internationalists) and a statement in the Socialist Appeal we have indicated that the existence of The New International is now immediately involved.
Briefly one-third of the magazine’s circulation and income, derived from Fourth Internationalist organizations and agents circulating and selling the magazine in England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, France, Belgium and other countries, has been cut off. Censorship has been clamped down on virtually every one of the above-mentioned countries and is spreading and being intensified. Mails are being stopped, letters and packages opened, etc. Despite all this The New International will get through somehow to all these countries; but obviously not the bulk of our one thousand circulation abroad for the duration of the war.
It is now up to the American Party and Youth comrades to make up the difference in circulation and income in order to maintain The New International. These problems are dealt with in the Editorial columns this time, and therefore we leave the matter in the hands of our agents and readers.
We have confidence that our movement will rally to the support of the magazine and therefore the remainder of our column proceeds upon the slogan, “Business as usual.”
The September number of The New International, issued before the outbreak of war in Europe and just at the moment of the signing of the Stalin-Hitler Pact, featured the story of the WPA. This article aroused considerable interest among WPA and unemployed workers. Comments from two agents indicate to what extent:
The Akron agent, Comrade Martell, writes: “The NI bundle came in last night ... This morning I took six for the newsstand and brought them down to the WPA project where I work. Suddenly I realized how well Macdonald’s article ought to go with my fellow WPA workers. I got up, walked around, talked to a few of the boys and in a few minutes had sold all six. I intend to mobilize a few of the comrades to stand outside the projects and sell the magazine at quitting time. Don’t be surprised if Akron sends in for more NI’s. This article gives us an opportunity to penetrate the mass with our theoretical organ.” Akron incidentally disposes of 50 copies.
Our agent, P.T., in Worcester writes, “September New International excellent, especially editorial and WPA.” She ordered extra copies.
Another important increase came from a very lively group of YPSL comrades in Berkeley, California. First Sara Turner increased the order from 30 to 40 and two weeks later the agent, V. Johnson, increased this order once again to 50 copies. Comrade Turner writes, “The fact is that The New International sells itself.”
That is true, if only the comrades everywhere will at least make it known that The New International is purchasable. We have in mind particularly the New York Party and YPSL organization and membership. Indeed, New York is the key to the immediate maintenance and future of The New International.
On New York newsstands, the sales rose sharply. Quite probably at least 100 additional copies have been sold. By and large nearly all the Party units in the United States are disposing of an adequate quantity of the magazine, but the New York weaknesses continue. Primarily there is one important reason for this situation in New York. The Party membership, and also its City and Branch committees, take the press too much for granted and do not undertake systematic and regular efforts to circulate and sell the magazine. Especially is this true in the matter of subscriptions. These matters have been taken up directly with the City Committee, as well as with the branch committees, and plans have been laid for improvement. We state simply; New York is the key to the maintenance and future of The New International. New York comrades, what will be your answer?
The same problem applies to the New York YPSL and here the matter is one of also utilizing The New International for the theoretical development of the Youth. The new YPSL agent, Comrade Miller, a real live-wire, is confident that the New York YPSL will respond with sharp increases.
New bundle orders came in from John Patrick, San Pedro, California, 10 copies; Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 8 copies.
There are several new agents in charge of The New International. Among them is Harry Baker of Los Angeles, who has already shown in the brief weeks he has been in charge that he is the best Los Angeles has had, and we are certain that Los Angeles will now move forward in increasing The New International circulation. Already Comrade Baker has sent in a dozen subscriptions.
Another new agent is Henry Thurman of Cleveland, who has proceeded to systematize the press circulation there; O. Kiefer, Columbus; E.M., Oakland; Ed Davis, Toledo; E. Henry, Detroit; J.D., Houston, Texas.
In the subscription field Chester Johnson of Minneapolis writes that they are taking steps to increase the newsstand circulation of The New International and sends in the names of several stands, as well as several subscriptions.
San Francisco, under the direction of Eloise B., is making big efforts to develop general circulation and subscriptions and already has met with some success.
Local Boston continues woefully weak in the subscription field, and the bundle still remains too low, but the District Literature Agent, John Taber, does the job of a half dozen men himself in promoting the circulation of The New International and the Socialist Appeal in Boston and the Massachusetts territory generally.
We had not heard from Chicago for a little while, and we were surprised, since Chicago has been good. We just learned that that ace Literature Agent, Sam Richter, has been ill. We hope that by now Sam is thoroughly recovered.
Special mention must be made for recent work with The New International by local St. Paul, G.G.V., Agent; Buffalo, New York, Jimmie Brown, Agent; Evansville, Indiana, Henry Schnautz (who certainly does grand work both with The New International and the Socialist Appeal); E. Washburn, St. Louis; Sol Thomas and S. Margolis in Philadelphia; J.B. in Baltimore; O.M. in New Castle, who has performed a lone job but whose efforts are now being reinforced by others in our ranks; J.T.M., Denver; Harvey Dawes, Youngstown; George Whiteside in Kansas, despite certain extreme difficulties; Johnny Boulds in Plentywood, carrying on among the farmers; and Morris G. and Al H. in New Haven.
Will The New International continue? We think it can and must. The answer is up to you!
Last updated on 8.8.2006