Mexico City: Linn A. E. Gale, 1920. A scarce issue of Gale’s magazine edited and published by radical journalist Linn A. E. Gale (1892-1940) from 1917-1921. During its first year of publication, the magazine was published from Worcester, Albany, Binghamton and New York City before Gale joined the thousands of war resisters and draft dodgers, pejoratively labeled “slackers”, who fled to Mexico to avoid conscription after the U.S. entered WWI. He, and an international coterie of radicals, attempted to create a revolutionary socialist movement that ultimately collided with Mexico’s burgeoning nationalism. Although initially jailed in Mexico for his outspoken criticism of Woodrow Wilson and the U.S.’s war effort, Gale was not only released, but received funding from some members of the Carranza government to resume publication of his magazine, which “supported the Mexican government, opposed U.S. intervention, criticized European imperialism and war, and promoted Gale’s Industrial Workers and the World and Communist organizations” (La Botz, p. 577). It was alternately the organ of the Mexican Socialist Party and Gales’ short-lived Church of the New Civilization devoted to New Thought and other spiritualist matters and was later sub-titled The Journal of Revolutionary Communism.
Gale and his fellow radicals soon drifted from their government patrons and founded the Communist Party of Mexico (although Botz describes Gale as only nominally Communist) and the IWW while organizing peasants and workers for revolution. This ultimately led to tension between Mexican nationalists and the Communist internationalists, leading the Obregon government to deport most of the slackers, including Gale, who later maintained that he’d been kidnapped by agents of the Department of Justice in concert with powerful interests in Mexico (New York Times, Oct. 18, 1921).
Gale was arrested in Laredo, TX, on April 22, 1921 and jailed on a variety of charges. He publicly renounced his radical tendencies and offered the government information on radicals in both the U.S. and in Mexico in exchange for his freedom (New York Times, Sept. 18, 1921). He was denounced by many of his fellow travelers, including Roger Baldwin of the ACLU who publicized his treachery and refused to defend him. Gale was convicted and sentenced to seven years in Leavenworth, although he was released after three. He died in 1940. Although unlikely, some have speculated that the recurring B. Traven character, Gerhard Gale, or Gales, was based on Gale.
This issue features a number of articles by Gale: “To General Alvaro Obregon,” “Mexicans Rebel Against Wall Street’s Attempted Dictation and Revolution Sweeps Obregon Party Into Power,” “Intervention in Mexico and Japan,” “‘Made in the U.S.A.’ - Civil War in Mexico,” “Two Years Ago I Became a Slacker,” “Texas, Panama, Villa and the Sonora Revolt,” “The Social Revolution in Germany,” and “Wall St. Wants Wood; Will Take Hoover. Other articles include, “Pan-American Bureau of The Third International in Mexico?” by George Barreda, “‘Christianity’ Doomed But Christ’s Teaching=Communism=Will Rule the World” by George D. Coleman, “Slaves on Hawaii Sugar Plantations Get 75 Cents a Day” by “Seguro Miguel”, “Facts About Russia By a Man Who Has Been There” by George Lansbury, “Mexico and Australia Compared” by Lionel Lynx, and many shorter articles and news items by Gale and others. Also included are poems by Ray Raven Markham, Jessamine S. Fishback, Fred Hartmann, Bertuccio Dantino, Robert Whitaker, George D. Coleman, Andrew Franzen, letters, adverts, etc. The rear wrapper reprints the Manifesto of the Communist Party of Mexico.
Stapled, illustrated wrappers (9” x 13”), 32 p., illus. Very light wear, foxing, but about Near Fine copy. Only half a dozen institutions in OCLC appear to hold any physical issue.
Reference: La Botz, Dan. “American ‘Slackers’ in the Mexican Revolution: International Proletarian Politics in the Midst of a National Revolution.” The Americas 62, no. 4 (2006): 563–90. Item #9293