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Peekskill : USA

Bombay Edition

43, West 94 Street,
New York 25, N. Y.  

People's Publishing House Ltd.,
Bombay 4, India

Dear Sirs,

I am enclosing a brief introduction for
the Indian edition of PEEKSKILL: USA,
which, as you see, is signed by Paul
Robeson and myself. I also want to
tell you how proud and happy I am that
you have decided to publish this book.
Our own experience with repression and
fascist terror has taught us how diffi-
cult it is to bring out such a book as
this in these times. Yet I know that
the difficulties you face far outweigh
ours.

Won't you please convey my warmest greet-
ings and very best wishes for peace and
democracy to my friends in India?

Sincerely,

Howard Fast

June 28, 1951

(from the back cover of the dust jacket of the Bombay edition)

I N T R O D U C T I O N

Indian Edition

PERHAPS no single event in the postwar anti-fascist struggle has had the same impact and importance as the incident of Peekskill. Here the whole struggle in America was crystallized in the actions of a few days. In that brief time, the fascist forces rallied to their plans all the rotten and lumpen elements they could command. In the same time, the working class rallied and organized itself to halt fascism, to defend the Negro people and to join with the Negro people in common defence. The fact that this was done in terms of a cultural event built around one man who stood for the peace movement in America and for progressive culture in America, deepened the whole significance of the action.
We learned a great deal through Peekskill. We learned that the face of fascism is the same in every land. We learned that the Negro people and the working class, firm and united, can defeat and smash the forces of fascism. And we learned, above all, that no artist today can create honestly or function wholly, apart from the people's movement.
Unquestionably, this story has great significance for the millions of Indian people. There is in progressive circles in America a deep and underlying feeling for the Indian people, an affection for the mighty strength and enduring patience of this great section of mankind. We look toward the Indian people as a bulwark of the future. We need to bring ourselves closer to them, to understand them more fully, and we need to bring to them a fuller and deeper understanding of the forces at work in our own land. So we give you here a story of the other America – not the America of Truman and Acheson, but the America of the people, the workers, the Negro people, the great mass of minorities who make up the population of the United States.

Paul Robeson

Howard Fast

Publishers' Note

We are very grateful to Mr. Howard Fast for allowing us to print an Indian edition of this book. The American editions cost Rs. 15 (board bound) and Rs. 5 (paper bound), and are beyond the reach of the vast majority of Indian reading public. We have priced the Indian edition as low as we could, so as to make it possible for the widest sections of our people to read this remarkable book which "is of great significance for the millions of Indian people"*

The Indian edition follows word by word the text of the American edition, except that the American spellings have been changed into English. From the Appendices, however, we have dropped a few pages which we thought were not of close interest to the Indian readers. Also, with the object of lowering the price of the Indian edition, we have not reproduced the art-plates which were there in the original, but have sought to convey some idea of the same through sketches done by a prominent artist of Bombay.

* The American (Civil Rights Congress) editions were priced at $3.00 (hardbound) and $1.00 (softbound). The Bombay dust jacket is marked "Foreign Edition, 5 Shillings."

1951. 83 pp, 22 cm, [grey paper boards, black lettering]. People's Publishing House, Ltd. Bombay.
cover painting of Paul Robeson at Peekskill by Soviet artists V. Poliakov, H. Shatz, and T. Radoman.

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