Brooklyn College

The Observer replaced a literary magazine called Potpourri in 1936. Unfortunately, the Brooklyn College Library does not have the first three volumes of The Observer, so that this selection of political writings starts with volume 4, March 1936.

I selected writings and ads that expressed radical views, discontent with or criticism of the political and social systems, and the need for political activism and protest.  I have included cigarette ads using the military to show the shift in attitude toward war that occurred months before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war. 

Art Kane is a pseudonym.  I have not discovered his (or her?) real name or status (student or outsider?).  Harry Albaum, as a faculty member, recanted his Communist Party membership and named names at the Jenner Internal Security Subcommittee hearings, 1952-3.

March 1936, volume IV, number 1
      "Observations on Our Contemporaries" (editorial statement), page 3
      "Scranton" (poem), Harold Albaum, page 6
      "Father Coughlin" (essay) Walter Feldmesser, pages 7 and 23
      "The Trap" (short story), Harold Norse, pages 9, 10, 24, and 26

April 1936, volume IV, number 2
      "Observations on April 22" (editorial statement), page 3
      "To You the Torch"  (short story), Elliot James, pages 5, 6, 7, 22, and 31
      "The Compact Minority" (essay), Marvin Kratter, pages 8 and 30
      "Obituary"  (short story), Melvin Salzman, pages 15 and 16
      "Big Things" (short story), Herman Slotkin, pages 17 and 28
      "The Main Office" (short story), Paul Sabin, pages 29 and 30

May 1936, volume IV, number 3
      "Observer Literary Contest Winners" (list), page 1
      "Observations on You" (editorial comment), pages 3 and 20
      "The Unforgotten" (poem), Edith Selkowitz, page 4
      "Things Unsaid" (short story), Margaret Stautinger, pages 5, 6, 22, and 23
      "The False Inspiration" (essay), Maurice Fields, pages 7 and 20
      "Thesis for Revolt" (poem), William Sternfield, pages 8 and 9
      "Answer to Kratter" (essay), American Students Union, pages 10 and 26
      "Beer" (short story), Isadore Abramowitz, pages 27, 28, 29, and 30

October 1936, volume VI, number 1
      Cover (cover is a drawing)
      "The City of the Dead" (short story), Isadore Abramowitz, pages 8, 9, and 26
      "Blood Crying from the Ground" (poem), Maurice Fields, page 10
      "Expostulation and Reply" (editorial), pages 16 and 17
      "Two Kinds of Liberty" (editorial), pages 16 and 17

November 1936, volume vi, number 2
      Cover (cover is a drawing)
      "Someday" (short story), Thomas Bodin, pages 4, 26, and 27
      "'Sadie' Has a Date" (poem), Harold Albaum, page 7
      "War and Peace" (editorial), page 17
      "Peace Action" (editorial), page 17

December 1936, volume VI, number 3
      Cover (cover is a drawing)
      "Portrait of Youth" (short story), Lily Sinowitz, pages 4, 16, 18, 25, and 26

March 1937, volume VII, number 1
      "Our Songs Are Fashioned" (editorial), page 1
      "Hitler over the American Campus: Part I" (essay), Art Kane, pages 6, 7, 8, 26, and 27
      "Ballade" (poem), Jacob Sloan

April 1937, volume VII, number 2, Anti-War Issue
      Cover (cover is a drawing)
      "The Voice of Spain" (poem), Harold Albaum, page 2
      "The Old Army Game" (short story), Seymour Weiss, page 5
      "Such Stuff" (short story), Shirley Heller, p. 14
      "Hitler over the American Campus: Part II" (essay), Art Kane, pages 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26, 27, 29, and 30
      "The Gutter Class" (poem), Harold Norse, page 23
      "Corn-Fed Kid from the West" (ad, World Peaceways), back cover

May 1937, volume VII, number 3, Farewell Issue
      Cover (cover is a drawing)
      "Editorial", page 2
      "Uniformed" (Short Story), Edward I. Sessler, pages 3, 4, and 20
      "Hitler over the American Campus: Part III" (essay), Art Kane, pages 6, 7, 25, 26, 27, and 28
      "Eliot and Me" (essay), Albert Greenberg, pages 15 and 16

October 1937, volume VIII, number 1 (Inaugural Issue)
      Cover (cover is a drawing)
      "Editorial", pages 2 and 15

November 1937, volume VIII, number 2 (Thanksgiving Issue)
       Cover (cover is a drawing)
      "Diary Fragment" (excerpt from diary that White kept while fighting in Spain) David McKelvy White, pages 5 and 6
      "For a Soap Box Orator" (poem), Howard Kohan, page 7
      "For a Soap Box Orator" (poem), Harold Albaum, page 7
      "Campus Vigilantes in Uniform" (essay), Art Kane, pages 8, 9, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30, and 31

December 1937, volume VIII, number 3 (Winter Issue)
      Cover (cover is a drawing)
      "Put-Out in Spain" (short story), Harold Freeman, pages 3, 4, 22, and 23
      "The Student Union Comes of Age" (report of delegate to ASU convention), Ruth Warshavsky, pages 11 and 21
      "On the Eve of the Catastrophe" (poem), Howard Kohan, pages 12 and 13
      "Who Goes There?" (ad, World Peaceways), back cover

March 1938, volume IX, number 1
      "Litany for Life" (poem), Harold Albaum, page 14
      "Fordham Fans the Fascist Flame" (editorial), pages 18 and 19
      "Hurray for What?" (ad, World Peaceways), page 26

April 1938, volume IX, number 2, Peace Issue
      Cover (the cover is a drawing)
      "Toxin Anti-Toxin" (short story), Florence B. Selden, pages 3 and 4
      "California Cliff Dweller" (critique of poet Robinson Jeffers), Howard Kohan, pages 7, 27, and 28
      "Two Letters from Spain", pages 8 and 25
      "Ballad of a Bird-Man" (poem), Chester Kallman, page 9
      "Destruction of 1556.01 Cubic Centimeters" (essay), Robert L. Kahn, pages 10, 11, and 12
      "From an Anti-War Cycle" (poem), Harold Albaum, page 14
      "Students Demonstrate for Peace" (photo collage), page 15
      "Which Way to Peace?" (two opposing viewpoints on peace):
            "Isolation" John J. Costello, speaking for the Newman Club, page 16
            "Collective Security," S. Helen Margolies, speaking for the A.S.U.
      "The Bookshelf" (review of book on Spain), Benjamin Algaze, page 20
      "$1000 for Student Writers" (writing contest sponsored by the League of American Writer, the A.S.U., and the Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade), pages 20 and 21
      "Not Poets" (poem), Nathar, page 22
      "New Rhymes for Old" (editorial), page 23
      "The children who will not come home from school" (ad, World Peaceways), page 24
      "We Can Stop the March of Death" (ad, American League for Peace and Democracy), back cover

May 1938, volume IX, number 3
      Cover (the cover is a drawing)
      "Walt Whitman: Bard of Democracy" (essay), Harold Albaum, pages 9, 10, 26
      "Graduation Speech: (O Fellow Students)" (poem), Harold Albaum, page 12

October 1938, volume X, number 1
      Cover (the cover is a drawing)
      "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (editorial), pages 2 and 19
      "I Got Ambitions" (short story), Eli Kramer, pages 3 and 4
      "For This Generation" (poem), Chester Kallman, page 4
      "Mr. Dies Goes to Town" (essay), Herbert Lansner, pages 7, 8, and 20
      "A Story Full of Color" (satire of Dies Committee), page 15
      "Military Objective!" (ad, World Peaceways), page 16
      "The Flesh of Pound" (poem). Chester Kallman, page 18

November 1938, Volume X, number 2
      Cover (the cover contains a small drawing)
      "Air Raid" (poem), Helen Thayler, page 9
      "The Sun Shines Bright" (short Story), Sheldon Kranz, pages 10, 11, 12, and 24
      "Nineteen-Twenty-Nine" (poem), Chester Kallman, page 13
      "Sonnet" (poem), Clara Brussel, page 16
      "Kingdom of Heaven" (ad, World Peaceways), page 22

December 1938, volume X, number 3
      Cover (the cover contains a drawing)
      "Malraux: Artist in Action" (essay), Julius Davidowitz, pages 6, 7, and 8
      "The Liberal Christian Movement" (essay), pages 15, 16, and 17

March 1939, volume XI, number 1
      Cover (the cover is a drawing)
      "Iberian Legend" (short story), Irving Wexler, pages 6, 7, and 24
      "Man and the Masses" (short story), Julian David, pages 10, 11, 12, and 19
      "The Field of Dishonor" (ad, World Peaceways), page 22

April 1939, volume XI, number 2
      Cover (the cover is a drawing)
      "On Peace, If Any" (editorial), page 2
      "Post-Strike" (editorial), page 2
      "Conversation on a Bridge" (poem), Walter Miller, page 9
      "The Story of Boom-Boom Clapper" (drama), Arthur Smith, pages 10, 11, and 23
      "Profile of a Red Herring" (essay), Merton Firestone, pages 12 and 13
      "Anecdote" (poem), Clara Brussel, page 14
      "Black Interlude" (poem), Julian David, page 14
      "Welcome Home" (short story), Nina Chernowitz, pages 15, 16, and 19
      "Fascist Lullaby" (poem), Helen Thayler, page 23

May 1939, volume XI, number 3
      "Curtains for My Windows" (short story), Ellen Harris, pages 2 and 24
      "Parable" (poem),Chester Kallman, page 10
      "Spain, 1939" (poem), J.W., page 24, bottom right column

October 1939, volumeXII, number 1
      "Observations" (editorial statement), pages 1 and 23
      "Keats Had Politics" (essay), Walter Miller, pages 10, 11, 17, and 18
      "Our College Press" (essay), Israel Goldiamond, pages 13, 14, and 18
      "March, march on down the field" (ad, World Peaceways), page 22
      "War" (poem), Aaron Kramer, page 23

November 1939, volume XII, number 2
      "Across the Sea" (short story), Sheldon Kranz, pages 2 and 24
      "Tramping Out the Vintage" (essay), Joe Wershba, pages 7, 8, and 20
      "The Dies Committee: A Study" (essay, part I), Herbert Lansner, pages 10, 11, and 12
      "Icarus" (short story), pages 13, 14, and 24

December 1939, volume XII, number 3
      "Mind Julep Democracy" (essay), Joe Wershba, pages 2 and 20
      "The Campus Was a Training Camp" (short story), Israel Goldiamond, pages 8, 9, and 23
      "The Breeze" (poem), Aaron Kramer, page 14
      "The Dies Committee: A Study" (essay, part II), Herbert Lansner, pages 16, 17, and 18

April 1940, volume XIII, number 1
      "A Native Son" (essay), Herbert Lansner, pages 6, 7, and 8
      "Seasons" (poem), Irving Berke, page 10
      "Nurse's Uniform" (short story), Nina Chernowitz, pages 11, 12, and 20
      "Byron Takes a Peek" (poem), I.B. Abrams, page 13
      "Wilfred Owen and War Poets" (essay), Walter Miller, pages 14, 15, and 19
      "This Day in September" (short story), Edward Landberg, pages 16, 17, and 18
      "Gulliver" (poem), Aaron Kramer, page 19

October 1940, volume XIV, number 1
      "Observations" (editorial), page 3
      "Conscription and Defense" (essay), Bert Morton, pages 4, 7, 8, 21, and 22
      "Poem" (poem), Aaron Kramer, page 8
      "1940: A Sequence" (poem), Samuel Exler, page 17
      "The Oklahoma Case" (essay), Edith Gottschalk and Aaron Kramer, pages 18 and 19
      "Morning at Camp" (poem), Walter Miller, page 19

November 1940, volume XIV, number 2
      "Observations" (editorial), pages 3 and 4
      "What Do Students Believe? Results of a Poll Conducted by the Bureau of Government Research, Committee on Public Opinion" (study), Arline Brown, Chairman, pages 7, and 8
      "Alien Agitators in America" (essay), Arline Schneider, pages 14, 15, and 16
      "Ode" (poem), Chester Kallman, p. 17

December 1940, volume XIV, number 3
      "Observations: Slochower's Fifth Book" (editorial), pages 3, 4, and 21
      "Tractors on the March" (essay). George Schwarz, pages 7 and 8
      "Garcia Lorca" (poem), Aaron Kramer, page 9
      "The Statue and the Soldier" (short story), Nathan Rosen, pages 10, 11, 12, and 13
      "Mr. A.-S. Takes the Stand" (fictional cross-examination of an anti-semite), Dave Crane, pages 15, 16, 17, and18
      "America Picks Her Men" (ad, World Peaceways), page

March 1941, volume XV, number 1
      "Observations" (editorial policy), page 1
      "Ode: The Losers" (poem), Samuel Exler
      Arnold Rivkin v. Paul Borsky (debate between leaders of student parties)
            "Arnold Rivkin," pages 12 and 15
            "Paul Borsky," pages 13, 14, and 15
      "The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution..." (First in a series of articles on American Tradition), Arline Schneider, pages 16, 17, and18
      "The Knight of Hope" (poem), Aaron Kramer, page 23

April 1941, volume XV, number 2
      Political cartoon (cartoon) and  tobacco ad with soldiers, W.H.
      "Prognosis Affirmative" (short story), Lance Herod, pages 13-14

May 1941, volume XV, number 3
      Camel ad using soldier, page 2
      "Observations" (editorials), pages 3-4
      "Crisis in New England" (essay), Arline Schneider, pages 7, 8, and 9
      "College Garden, Inquisition Time" (poem), Samuel Wolf Exler, page 10
      "My Mind Has Run Through Forests" (poem), Aaron Kramer, page 11

October 1941, volume XVI, number 1
      "Camel ad using 1 soldier, 2 sailors and 1 marine, page 2
      "Construction" (poem), Sidney Shanker, page 8
      "Raw Material: Brownsville" (article), Normie and Bernie, page 11
      "Education 1921-41" (poem), Norman Eisenberg, page 14
      "The Year-Round Battle: An O-K Review" (review), pages 13, 14, and 17

November 1941, volume XVI, number 2
      Camel ad featuring navy air force, page 2
      "Observations" (editorials), pages 4 and 18
      "Defense Means Us" (essay), Sidney Shanker, pages 7 and 8
      "San Luis: Refugee Ship" (poem), Milton Shapiro, page 8
      "Harriet Tubman: Great American" (essay), Pearl Graham, page 13
      "Mexico's Long Moment" (review), Nat Miller, pages 17 and 18

December 1941, volume XVI, number 3
      "Where Liberty Is Not" (essay). Samuel Exler, pages 7, 8, 14, 17, and 18
      "In Our Time" (poem), Samuel Wolf Exler, page 17
      Chesterfield ad with military cigarette carton

March 1942, volume XVII, number 1
      Camel ad: "WHAT! A girl training men to fly for Uncle Sam?," page 2
      "Our Spring: A White Paper on Morale at Brooklyn College..." (editorial), the Editors, pages 3, 4, 7, 8, and 17
      "The American Red Cross Is Your Red Cross" (ad), page 6
      "Passion According to Matthew" (short Story), Nat Miller, pages 9, 10, 11, and 12
      "So I Keep on Working" (poem), Norman Eisenberg, page 17

April 1942, volume XVII, number 2
      "In the Struggle" (editorial), pages 7, 8, and 9
      "They're Writing Back" (letters from former BC students and teachers in the military), pages 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11
      "We've Got a War to Win!" (ad, United Service Organizations), page 15

May 1942, volume XVII, number 3
      "Fighting Art: ‘Native Land'" (review), Norman Eisenberg, pages 3 and 4
      "The Vision" (short story). Elinor Spinrad, pages 8 and 9
      "Poem on Battle" (poem), Richard Ginensky, page 9
      "U.S. Colleges Learn First Aid" (ad, Red Cross), page 16

October 1942, volume XVIII, number 1
      "Editorial" (editorial), page 3
      "Farewell to Heroes" (article), Bernard Aaronson, page 4
      "Letters from the Soldiers" (letters from BC students in the military), page 6
      "To a Soldier Living" (poem), Aaron Kramer, page 6
      "No Swing on These Records" (article), page 7
      College Victory Campaign (a supplement issued by unidentified source):
            "There's Nothing Wacky about the WAACS" (article), page 8
            "Fighters Without Uniforms" (article), pages 9-10
            "Chemistry in the War!" (article), page 11
            "Scrap-Script" (snippets of anecdotes and facts), page 12
            "When They Were–‘Students Army Training Corps'" (article), page 13
            "Type Casting" (news article), page 14
      "Hitler Wants Us to Believe That..."(list), page 14
      "Orders Is Orders" (humorous quotations), page 14
      "...My girl at Wellesley makes ‘em!" (cartoon)
     "The Necessity of a Second Front" (essay), Professor Serge Chermayeff, page 15
      "Youth's Fighting Creed" (position statement), International Student Assembly, page 19
     "Keep ‘em Satisfied with Chesterfield" (ad with soldiers receiving packs of Chesterfields), page 20

November 1942, volume XVIII, number 2
      "You want steady nerves to launch a 'fin fish' or make one!" (Camel ad with naval theme), page 2
      College Victory Campaign (a supplement issued by unidentified source):
            "Let the Marines Tell It to You" (essay), Murrey Marder, pages 9 and 10
            "Physics in the War" (article), Dr. J. Lloyd Bohn, page 11
            "They Fly so High!" (article), page 12
            "Honor Roll" (photographs and brief description of military achievement), page 13
            "A Message to the Complacent" (article), Office of War Information, page 14
            "How Times Have Changed" (list of facts), page 14
            "I'm turning in this rubber stamp" (cartoon), page 14
            "Letter to the College Students of America" (letter), Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy, page 15
            "Scrap-Script" (snippets of anecdotes and facts), page 16
     "All Clear: That's the Smoker's Signal for a Mild Cool Cigarette" (Chesterfield ad with air raid warden), page 17

Note: The last appearance of College Victory Campaign in the Observer-Kaleidoscope was May 1943. By the Winter 1945 issue, the literary magazine is again called Observer.

Winter 1945

      "Editorial" (editorial), Betty Thayler, pages 1 and 2
      "Salud, Tribute: David McKelvy White" (essay), Louis Miner, pages 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7
      "Letter from Spain" (letter), David M. White, pages 7, 8, 9, and 10
      "In Memorial" (essay), Norman Rosten, pages 11and 12
      "Two Translations: Aragon" (two poems), Pvt. N. Miller, pages 16 and 17
      "Girl in the Olive Grove" (short story). Pfc. Sidney Shanker, pages 19, 20, 21, and 22
      "Egg Sucker" (short story), Pvt. N. Miller, pages 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27
      "Roots of the Modern Novel" (essay), Mildred Cowell and Madelyn Katz, pages 28, 29, 30, and 31
      "Nocturne" (poem), Cpt. Max Greenberg, page 31
      "Mural for Italy" (poem), Sidney Shanker, page 37

Spring 1946
      "A Short Play” (play), Burton Raffel, pages 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24

Winter 1946

      "A Place to Die” (short story), Mordecai Marcus, pages 1 2, 3, 4, and 5
      "On Academic Freedom” (editorial), Irene Sidney Cohen, pages 32 and 33

Spring 1947

     "Promises of Peace” (poem), Raymond Marcus, page 23

Winter 1947

        No radical/political materials.

Winter 1948

      "Two Months” (short story), Maynard Solomon, pages 3 and 4
      "Autumn Letter" and "Direction" (two poems), Modecai Marcus, pages 14 and 15
      "Business" (short story), Lucas Longo, pages 16, 17, 18, and 19

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September 15, 2009