New York: Masses & Mainstream, 1948-51. 27 issues of the monthly journal in original wraps, with numbered labels on covers and / or rubber-stamped or handwritten notations on front or back cover indicating the context of their purchase. Issues present are 1948: March (first issue) to Dec., missing August; 1949: Missing Jan, Aug. and Sept.; 1950: Jan to July, missing March; 1951: Jan-March. Several issues are rather worn or soiled, generally good to very good.
Contributions by some well-known folks in addition to the usual spectrum of communist writers; authors include Pablo Neruda, WEB DuBois, George Lukacs, Howard Fast; art by William Gropper, Picasso, Antonio Frasconi, Ben Shahn and others. The numbered labels (all numbers in the 1200s) appear to be evidence tags; the purchase notes are in the format of "Purchased from [person] on [date] by [agent's code name]." The agents here are KEHE and C2; some have the additional illegible penned initials of a second agent or supervisor. Since these journals were sold by subscription to anyone who paid for them, as well as at lefty bookstores, the elaborate ruse was entirely unnecessary, but perhaps it gave the agents a sense of adventure to penetrate the bowels of the Communist underground. One bears the notation "Bought from the literature table at regular meeting 1/10/50. Gregory Peck. Rec'd from SF-145." We assume this is a different Gregory Peck!
Out of stock