Letter 075, pg. 1
To DeWitt Emery
139 East 35th Street
New York City
May 17, 1943
Mr. DeWitt M. Emery
1635 Pittsfield Building
Dear Mr. Emery:
This is to explain my hurried long distance call. Since you have my book, you can see why I have neglected my correspondence so badly for over a year. The size of that book will serve, I hope, as my apology and justification.
I am enclosing a review of the book from yesterday’s Sunday Times [Lorine Pruette’s review of The Fountainhead]. It explains, better than I could do it myself, what connection there is between a story of architecture and our political cause. It shows why I consider my book important for our side. This review is the first one to state my theme clearly and honestly. The other New York reviewers (four of them, in the daily papers) have ignored the theme completely and spoken of the book only as a story about architecture. Since the theme is overstated (it’s practically in every line of the novel) such an omission could not be accidental. One case could be ascribed to stupidity. Four of them can be explained only by intention.
That is why I thought of the plan I discussed with you over the phone. If the Reds and some of our own cowardly “conservatives” do not want to let it be known that a book has come out on the theme of the Individual against the Collective, I want to break through and make it known, in a very loud manner, in spite of them. There is a vast audience for such a theme. The mood of the whole country is going our way. The people are with us—only the intellectuals remain Pink-New Deal-Collectivist. It’s a blockade and it must be broken.
In the last ten years, the Reds have done a good job of building up literary celebrities for their own purposes, such as Orson Welles, Clifford Odets, John Steinbeck, etc. These celebrities then appear on Red committees, endorse Red causes, build up other Red names, and the racket works as the radicals’ best propaganda method. It’s a monopoly now. Not one new novelist or playwright of our side has been allowed to break through in the last decade. I think it’s time our side took some action. It’s time we realized—as the Reds do—that spreading our ideas in the form of fiction is a great weapon, because it arouses the public to an emotional,