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Henry Judd

Wants Information About Renegade

(June 1942)

The Readers of Labor Action Take the Floor ..., Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 24, 15 June 1942, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Dear Editor:

The other night, while listening to the radio, I heard an official government propaganda program which has become very popular. It is known as Report to the Nation. This particular patriotic session dealt with the use of air power, and the part I listened to gave a story about America supporting China in the war; how America would never let the Chinese people down, etc.

At the end of the program the announcer informed us that the script was written by one Harold R. Isaacs, a name that had a familiar ring to it.

Could this be the same Harold R. Isaacs who wrote a book on China called The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution and who, according to the introduction by Trotsky, “approaches the revolution as a revolutionist? ...” The author of this book, which describes China’s effort to free itself of western imperialism, claims to be an “orthodox” Trotskyist and has many a scathing remark to make about American imperialism’s dirty work in China. He keeps mentioning such facts as “British and American gunboats promptly opened up a bombardment of the city (Nanking) ... (page 164); “The leading role played by the Americans in the bombardment of Nanking on March 24 ...” (page 194); “American, British, Italian, French and Japanese gunboats open fire repeatedly ...” (page 425); “American, British, Italian and German planes made Chinese skies horrible for the defenseless peasants ...” (page 425), etc., etc.

Of course, all this took place some time ago – maybe Anglo-American imperiaiism has changed now!

If this is the same Isaacs, we wonder what the “living fighters of the Chinese Revolution,” to whom his book is dedicated, would think of the author’s base desertion to the imperialist cause.

Henry Judd

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