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The New International, December 1939


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From New International, Vol.5 No.12, December 1939, p.338.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


IT is not yet possible for The New International to return to its former 32 page size. The circulation and revenue in the United States are still considerably too low to be able to offset the large decrease in circulation and revenue from the foreign countries as a result of the outbreak of war. Nor did sufficient contributions come in to be able to have a 32 page December number.

By the time the January issue appears we shall know quite definitely if The New International can increase its size again, or whether it will be necessary to stabilize the magazine on a 16 page basis.

The November number aroused considerable interest and 4,300 copies were published, a larger quantity than for several months; this despite the circulation loss from abroad. Although some copies are still on hand, they will no doubt be cleared from the shelves by requests for copies and bundles.

* * *

Several new orders and increases were placed in recent weeks. The Harvard Socialist League placed an order for 20 copies; a group in Memphis, Tennessee, for five copies; and a group of comrades at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, put in an order for 20 copies regularly.

Increases were made by Worcester to nine copies; New Haven from i5 to 20; San Diego from five to eight. Two decreases were recorded: Minneapolis from 75 to 50 and Detroit from 35 to 25.

The bundle circulation, by and large, appears to be quite stabilized, with more persistent and planned efforts made by the branches to circulate the magazine. The agents have for a long time been ordering what they are able to dispose of and consequently The New International circulation is entirely bona fide.

The main difficulty continues in the field of subscriptions, which for varied reasons have been harder to obtain. However the past month was a quite good one, all things considered. But the combination offer of a The New International subscription together with a copy of the book, Living Thought of Marx, with an introduction by L.D. Trotsky, Marxism in Our Times, brought in quite a number of subscriptions.

The comrades in Cambridge, Massachusetts, did exceptionally well, sending in a dozen subscriptions. Chicago sent several and Minneapolis and Akron obtained a number of renewals.

Chicago also ordered an additional 50 copies of the November number in order to meet the demands of its public meetings held recently. Under Lois Lowell’s direction, the magazine’s situation is being rapidly improved in Philadelphia.

There have been frequent changes of agents in recent weeks, but these have not occasioned any difficulties in handling the magazine. Among the new agents are Nick L., New Haven; F. Dart, Flint; I.S., San Diego; Lois Lowell, Philadelphia. Oscar I. placed a regular order for Pittsburgh.

In New York City, the Bronx and Upper West Side Branches continue to be the most dependable units in the circulation of our theoretical organ. In addition several renewal subscriptions were obtained through the medium of Upper West Side comrades. The agent there, Mimi Slater, attends to her duties systematically, and also Ben Walker of the Bronx has made steady efforts to promote The New International.

The Los Angeles organization, endeavoring to place its Press circulation on a sound foundation, recently took special measures in regard to The New International. An agreement arrived at between the Los Angeles organization and the Business Office in New York resulted in a settlement of Los Angeles’ large debt to the magazine. As a result the Los Angeles slate is now clear, and the comrades feel that they can now proceed with systematic efforts to increase the Socialist Appeal and The New International circulation without the worry of heavy debts overhanging them.

Of general interest is the increase in sales of The New International in Southern cities, such as Memphis, Houston and Chattanooga.

The New Haven Branch, writes Comrade N.L., is planning a social to raise money for The New International and begs that we hang on to The New International while they and others come to the rescue.

Comrade Chester Johnson, Minneapolis agent, writes: “One step which we have recently taken to improve our sales distribution has been to cover the largest and most important newsstands in the city. In this respect we have been very lax in the past; that is, failing to use the regular avenues of news sale distribution, which after all is the most efficient method of sales once the people know that The New International is there. I have been placed in charge of newsstand placements and collections, both for The New International and Socialist Appeal, and I find that the results merit very close and sustained attention. With our forum season getting under way, and a rejuvenated campaign launched among our comrades on the basis of our reduced bundle, I think we shall be able to improve the sales of The New International in this area.”

In the Boston region comrades London, R.P. and H.R., besides the general agent, John Taber, have been making serious efforts to obtain subscriptions and, as reported above, already sent in several subscriptions. The Los Angeles organization, under the direction of Jack G., recently sent out a very good promotion letter to a large number of contacts with the objective of obtaining new readers and subscriptions. Also they have placed the magazine on several newsstands.

In this column we have in the past overlooked to mention that the East Chicago, Indiana organization, where a party unit made up largely of steel workers exists, disposes regularly of from 10 to 15 copies. The agent there is Comrade H.M. East Chicago obtains its bundle through the Chicago organization.

New York continues to be the best possible place for substantial increases in the circulation of the magazine. On an average the Party branches dispose of 326 copies; the Labor Book Shop of 50; newsstands, 125-150; the YPSL 125-150; besides subscriptions in Greater New York which at present total about 230. But increases can be expected in subscriptions through a drive for renewals. In all 850 to 900 copies are circulated in New York, but much more can yet be accomplished. Again it must be pointed out that it is the American organization and readers who must give the answer on the future of The New International. In our view it is possible for the United States to sustain a 32 page NI through circulation – bundle orders and subscriptions. Up till recently the circulation abroad was so substantial as to make certain a 32 page organ, but now the American comrades and readers must supply the answer in the form of hundreds of new readers.

The Manager

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