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Labor Action Masthead

Labor Action

Labor Action was published in the United States by the Workers Party, a party founded as the result of a split with the Socialist Worker Party in the Spring of 1940, shortly after the SWP itself was founded. The major political issue was over the class nature of the U.S.S.R. with the majority of the SWP taking the position held by Leon Trotsky that this state was a workers’ state and not a state run by a “class of a new type” as advocated by those that formed the new Workers Party. The Workers Party’s most prominent member was Max Shachtman. Many writers that were previously associated with the SWP joined the new, but smaller, Workers Party, including James T. Farrell, Hal Draper, C.L.R. James and James Burhnam (the latter quickly abandoned all references to Marxism and moved to the far right of America’s political spectrum).

The appearance of the broadsheet Labor Action added another source of news for the continuing labor struggles in the U.S. where the line of Labor Action within the labor movement appeared similar to that of Socialist Appeal and The Militant, the organs of the SWP.

Readers will notice two things about the run of Labor Action. The first issue is undated, as it was a special two page color issue for May Day (one can assume it was published on or before May Day of 1940). The other oddity is that the first official issue, dated May 20th has a volume number of 4 and issue number of 6. This reflects the inability of the Workers Party to obtain in short order a 2nd class mailing permit from the U.S. post office. Thus the editors took over monthly organ of the Young People’s Socialist League (the Workers Party youth group captured previously from the Socialist Party), Challenge of Youth which had 2nd class mailing rights. The numbering there after follows the numbering of this youth journal.

The scanning of Labor Action was accomplished through the hard work of Marty Goodman, M.D. and his staff at the Riazanov Library. Some of the original hard copy of Labor Action was provided by the Holt Labor Library in San Francisco, CA.

Labor Action

By Year/Volume

1940 – Volume 4 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1941 – Volume 5 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1942 – Volume 6 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1943 – Volume 7 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1944 – Volume 8 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1945 – Volume 9 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1946 – Volume 10 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb to 12mb each]

1947 – Volume 11 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1948 – Volume 12 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb - 11mb each]

1949 – Volume 13 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1950 – Volume 14 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1951 – Volume 15 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1952 – Volume 16 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1953 – Volume 17 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1954 – Volume 18 [Optimized PDF approx. 6mb each]

1955 – Volume 19 [Optimized PDF approx. 2.3mb each]

1956 – Volume 20 [Optimized PDF approx. 2.3mb each]

1957 – Volume 21 [Optimized PDF approx. 2.3mb each]

1958 – Volume 22 [Optimized PDF approx. 2.3mb each]


Publications Index | Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 16 December 2015