New York: New Pioneer Publishing Co., 1935. Wraps. Small 8vo. Original pictorial stapled wrappers; 23pp. Cover illustration by Esther Kriger. Near fine. Near Fine. Item #12878
A remarkable and extremely uncommon document from the press of the Pioneers, the officially-sanctioned youth group of the American Communist Party, issued specifically for distribution at the First Annual Boy Scout Jamboree in Washington. In language clearly intended for juvenile readers, the authors attack President Roosevelt’s record regarding child welfare; point out the ethical dubiousness of holding a nationwide “Jamboree” when so many Americans are unemployed and starving; and assail the Fascist program of the Boy Scouts of America, which they describe as a “Jim Crow organization” which encourages its members to aspire to little more than to “work like hell, for all kinds of hours, for little pay...” and whose main purpose is “to instill in boys military virtues such as honor, loyalty, obedience, and patriotism.” Ironically, the Jamboree was cancelled at the last minute - not for fear of Communist infiltration, but rather in response to the 1935 polio epidemic. Much of the pamphlet’s contents were thus rendered moot; how many copies were distributed through other channels remains a mystery, but it is a decidedly scarce item; OCLC finds only 8 locations, and we have never seen another in commerce. Not in Seidman.