New Masses. Vol. 4 No. 5. October, 1928.

New Masses. Vol. 4 No. 5. October, 1928.

Contents: Letters, Did God Make Bed Bugs? by Michael Gold, Coal Miners’ Children by Ed Falkowski, The Right to Death by Miriam Allen DeFord, Awake Negro Poets! by William C Patterson, A Young Soviet write by Nadja Pavlov, Are Musicians Workers? by Valentine Konin, The Confessions of a ‘Confessions’ Editor by Margaret Larkin, Soldiers of Christ by Charles Yale Harrison, Midnight Mission by Joseph Kalar, Gomez: The Greatest Living Criminal by Guillermo Meir, TB Workers by Irving Kreitzberg, New Russia’s Hero by Scott Nearing, Poems by Workers, letters by Workers, South African Labor by C Hartley Grattan.

The New Masses was the continuation of Workers Monthly which began publishing in 1924 as a merger of the ‘Liberator’, the Trade Union Educational League magazine ‘Labor Herald’, and Friends of Soviet Russia’s monthly ‘Soviet Russia Pictorial’ as an explicitly Communist Party publication, but drawing in a wide range of contributors and sympathizers. In 1927 Workers Monthly ceased and The New Masses began. A major left cultural magazine of the late 1920s and early 1940s, the early editors of The New Masses included Hugo Gellert, John F. Sloan, Max Eastman, Mike Gold, and Joseph Freeman. Writers included William Carlos Williams, Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, Upton Sinclair, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Day, John Breecher, Langston Hughes, Eugene O’Neill, Rex Stout and Ernest Hemingway. Artists included Hugo Gellert, Stuart Davis, Boardman Robinson, Wanda Gag, William Gropper and Otto Soglow. Over time, the New Masses became narrower politically and the articles more commentary than comment. However, particularly in it first years, New Masses was the epitome of the era’s finest revolutionary cultural and artistic traditions.

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