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Fourth International, September 1949


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol.10 No.8, September 1949, p.226.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Judging from the comments and compliments that are coming into this office, the August issue of Fourth International, devoted exclusively to the American Empire, is finding a favorable response in all parts of the country. It is clear that the elaborate treatment of American imperialism by the Editors fills a long-felt need among radical workers and students. We believe also that the American Empire number will be a popular item on the sales list of all literature agents for many months to come. The facts and arguments marshalled in that issue, relating to the plans and impact of US monopoly capitalism on the world at large and its baneful efforts on the American people at home, will be used as material and text for classes in Marxism and for self-study by those interested in the most important problem of our time.

Two postcards came from readers in Minneapolis:

Fred Martin writes from Milwaukee:

“An accurate criterion as to the reception the Milwaukee area is giving the August FI is the order we are placing with this letter for 10 more copies of the same issue. There is an unusual amount of material crammed into it. And the leading articles serve as. a. motivation or basis for further research and study on the various subjects. The comrades consider the articles of critical importance at this time of the zenith of Yankee imperialism.

“Warde, in his article (Sixty Years of Anti-Imperialist Struggle) touches the most important question for the moment, that is the social patriotism of the union officialdom and the extent of this disease among the rank and file.

“The comrades feel the need for more material on the following items: 1. The extent of Yankee expansion abroad relating to Truman’s “Point Four” of ‘developing’ the backward areas of the world. 2. A more popular presentation or analysis of the Marxian economic theory as applied to the status of Yankee Power and the reasons for the long overdue collapse.”

* * *

“The August FI,” says Bert Deck, Los Angeles agent, “has been very well received. We are going to use it as a text for one of our Summer School classes. Ruth sold six copies the other noon at the Southern California campus. Two purchasers asked to be placed on our mailing list and said they would attend our Trotsky Memorial Meeting. Many students engaged Ruth in political discussion and showed a lively interest in socialist ideas. Some time before, five copies were sold on the UCLA campus. We are very encouraged about this and intend to do some concentrated work on all campuses with the FI. It’s our best medium of contact with the student youth.”

Bert’s last point is especially well-taken and we commend it to the attention of all literature agents and branches of the Socialist Workers Party. There is a large potential reading public for the FI on all the college and university campuses. Trouble is that most of this group doesn’t yet know of our existence. You have to be like Mohamet when the mountain wouldn’t come to him... Let’s have some reports on this project of increasing student sales in the next months.

Oakland adds its voice to the comrades south of them and Phyllis B. writes:

“The August issue of the FI is certainly a very fine one. We are using it extensively in our sales. The comrades generally are very impressed with this issue.”

A short time later the good word followed from W.C. of the other twin city, St. Paul:

“The August issue came yesterday – and last night at our board meeting we planned an educational on it for a week from Thursday night. We realize it’s a special issue and I’ll write you reactions after the meeting. This is in line with our decision that during the months of July and August, we would have business and educational meetings on alternate weeks – and that our principal educational material would be the Militant and the FI. A good decision, don’t you think?”

We certainly do!

O. Daniel of Flint ordered a half a dozen more copies of the August FI and reports that they had sold out all their available copies at a large meeting on the UAW convention.

Howard ordered 20 additional copies of the June FI. He says that the people he had spoken to mainly praised J. Meyer’s article on The Road Ahead in Negro Struggle.

“If the next issue goes like this one has, we’ll be able to increase our bundle.”

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Last updated on: 16 March 2009