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The New International

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Jump to the Fourth International 1940-1956
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Political Auspices & History

New International was founded as the organ of the Trotskyist group, named the Communist League of America, which formed out of a split from the Communist Party. The CLA merged with the American Workers Party (a left-socialist group led by A.J. Muste, James Burnham et al.), to form the Workers Party of the U.S. in Dec 1935. The magazine was suspended (last issue June 1936) when the Trotskyists joined the Socialist Party; and was reissued (Jan. 1938) when they split with the Socialist Party, forming the Socialist Workers Party. The SWP in turn split in the spring of 1940, and the magazine went (Apr. 1940) with the then minority, which organized itself under the name of Workers Party and was lead by Max Shachtman, among others. This organization changed its name to Independent Socialist League after April 1949. Throughout these political changes, the formal publisher of the magazine was the “New International Publishing Company” (except for the first year, 1934, when it was the “New International Publishing Association”).

PLEASE NOTE: The political leadership of the SWP continued the Trotskyist traditions of original New International with the launching of Fourth International in April of 1940. This magazine lasted until 1956, when it became International Socialist Review, and remained the main English language theoretical journal of the Fourth International.

This Archive

New International project started early in the history of the Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line as a project to scan in and present as HTML web pages, the entire run of the magazine. In 2012 Marty Goodman who had started his Riazanov Library Project indpendently of the ETOL or the Marxists Internet Archive, started collecting and scanning in as PDFs the entire run the magazine from 1934 through it’s demise in 1958. The HTML side of the project was started by Einde O’Callaghan who typed up the entire table of contents for each issue. He continues the slow proecess of converting these PDFs into single article HTML. David Walters, Director of the Holt Labor Library helped by contributing a portion of the original issues.

Frequency of Publication

Most of the time monthly, though it actually came out 12 times in the years 1938, 1939 and 1944 only. It was bi-monthly from Oct. 1935 to June 1936, and again during the years 1950-51, after which it became quarterly.


The magazine’s appearance in its first period, up to June 1936 (up to its suspension), was characterized by a distinctive colored-design cover. Then it was re-established in January 1938, its size was a little smaller; it shrank a bit twice again before becoming “pocket-size” at the beginning of 1950.

“Whole Numbers”

A warning: Beginning with Feb 1936 (“Whole No. 13”), the magazine was given a “Whole No.” designation in addition to the date and volume/number designation; but as a result of several errors, this “Whole No.” was usually wrong, and is best ignored. The “Whole No.” was correct only for the following periods: Feb. 1936 to Feb. 1938 (Whole No. 13-17); Apr. 1938 to June 1941 (Whole No. 19-54); Sept. 1941 to Oct. 1941 (Whole No. 57-58); Feb. 1948 to Nov-Dec. 1952 (Whole No. 124-157). Otherwise, the “Whole No.” was usually one less than the correct figure.


A list of the editors follows. When no editor was listed, the editorial board is given. No distinction is made here between “editor” and “managing editor.” When the magazine listed an “editor” in addition to a “managing editor,” the former title was a formality.

July 1934 to Dec. 1934: Max Shachtman.
Jan. 1935 to June 1936: Max Shachtman & John West [i.e. James Burnham].
Jan. 1938 to Mar. 1939: Ed. Bd.: James Burnham, Max Shachtman, Maurice Spector.
Apr. 1939 to Mar. 1940: Ed. Bd.: James Burnham, Max Shachtman.
May 1940 to Sept. 1941: Max Shachtman.
Oct. 1941 to June 1943: Albert Gates.
July 1943 to Aug. 1945: Max Shachtman.
Sep. 1945 to May 1946: Ernest Erber (Max Shachtman listed as formal “editor” for a time.)
Aug. 1947 to Dec. 1947: Albert Gates.
Jan. 1948 to Mar. 1949: Hal Draper.
Apr. 1949 to Dec. 1949: Max Shachtman.
Jan-Feb 1950 to Jan-Feb 1953: Emmanuel Garrett (Shachtman listed as “formal editor”).
Mar.-Apr. 1952 to end: Julius Falk (Shachtman listed as formal “editor”).

Special Notes

A subject index is can be seen here

1. April 1941 issue, Vol. 7, no. 3: erroneously called “No. 4” in editorial box on page [35].

2.May 1941 issue, Vol. 7, no. [4]: this issue was erroneously marked “No. 5” both in the editorial box and below the masthead on the third page, so that the correct number does not appear at all.

3. June 1941, Vol. 7, no. 5: erroneously called “No. 6” below the masthead on page [99].

4. June 1942, Vol. 8, no. 5: this issue was published in two parts; part I was the normal magazine; part II was devoted to China in the World War by Max Shachtman.

5. July 1942, Vol. 8, no.6: erroneously called “No. 5” in the editorial box on page [162].

6.October 1942, Vol. 8, no. 9: erroneously called “No. 8” in the editorial box on page [258].

7. April 1944, Vol. 10, No. 4: The page folios are erroneously dated “April, 1943” throughout.

8. October 1944, Vol. 10, no. 10: this issue was published in two parts, part I being the normal magazine; part II was called “Supplement” containing Capitalist Barbarism or Socialism by the International Communists of Germany [IKD].

9. Issue dated “Winter 1955-56” but its volume numbering remained part of Vol. 21.

10. A double number, “Spring-Summer 1958” with the number “Vol. 24, no. 2-3,” but it was given only a single “whole number,” no. 179 (which was incorrect anyway, as explained elsewhere).

1934-1940 | 1940-1946 | 1947-1958

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Last updated on 24 October 2014