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Political Affairs (magazine)

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Political Affairs
Cover of August 2005 issue
CategoriesPolitical magazine
PublisherJoe Sims
First issue 1944 (1944-month)
Final issue 2016 (2016-month)
CompanyCommunist Party USA
Based inNew York

Political Affairs Magazine was a monthly Marxist publication, originally published in print and later online only.[1] It aimed to provide an analysis of events from a working class point of view. The magazine was a publication of the Communist Party USA and was founded in 1944 upon the closure of its predecessor, The Communist, which was founded in 1927. Well-known editors of Political Affairs Magazine included V. J. Jerome, Gus Hall, Hyman Lumer, Herbert Aptheker, Gerald Horne, and Joe Sims. Other editors included Max Weiss. In 2016, the magazine stopped publishing articles and merged with People's World.[2]


At its founding, Political Affairs was the theoretical organ of the Communist Party USA, generally publishing articles intended almost exclusively for members of the Communist Party. In the late 1990s, that role changed. Political Affairs shed its role as an internal organ of the Communist Party and adopted a broader stance. It provides Marxist perspectives on many contemporary issues and engages in theoretical discussions relevant to Marxists and the labor movement. In addition to articles devoted to national and international politics, the magazine offers poetry, book reviews, occasional reviews of music and film, interviews, and occasional short stories.

The publication can be traced back to The Masses, the famous Greenwich Village paper of the 1910s. After being suppressed by the government, the paper continued as The Liberator. Independently of this, the Friends of Soviet Russia had established another monthly, Soviet Russia, in 1919. In 1924 the title was changed to Soviet Russia Pictorial. Finally, William Z. Foster had begun Labor Herald as the official publication of his Trade Union Educational League in March 1922. When the Workers Party of America had finally been consolidated as the unified above-ground Communist Party in the United States, it was determined that the party should have a theoretical monthly as well as a daily, in line with Lenin's guideline in What Is To Be Done?

The above three publications were combined into Workers Monthly, which debuted in November 1924. It changed its name to The Communist in 1927 and to Political Affairs in 1944.[3]

Title Place of publication Duration
The Masses New York Vol. I #1 January 1911 - Vol. X #2 December 1917
Liberator New York Vol. I #1 March 1918 - Vol. VII #10 October 1924
Soviet Russia New York Vol. I #1 June 1919 - Vol. VII #11 December 1922
Soviet Russia Pictorial Chicago Vol. VIII #1 January 1923 - Vol. IX #10 October 1924
Labor Herald Chicago Vol. I #1 March 1922 - Vol. III #8 October 1924
Workers Monthly New York Vol. IV #1 November 1924 - Vol. V #16 February 1927
The Communist New York Vol. VI #1 March 1927 - Vol. XXIII #12 December 1944
Political Affairs New York Vol. XXIV #12 January 1945–present


  1. ^ Sears, Ben. "Thanks for being a reader of Political Affairs". Political Affairs. People Before Profit. Archived from the original on December 12, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  2. ^ "Thanks for being a reader of Political Affairs". People's World. 2016. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  3. ^ Goldwater, Walter (1964). Radical periodicals in America 1890-1950. New Haven: Yale University Library. pp. 20–23, 33, 40, 47.

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