Letter 075. pg. 2
as well as intellectual response to our cause. Call it a sugar-coating—though I don’t like to say that. It works. Look at the Reds to see how it works. Look how savagely they have defended the art field from all intrusions of conservatives. They know its value.
So I think that my book will give our side the opportunity we need if there are any intelligent “reactionaries” willing to stand by me. I want to find an organization or, preferably, a private person who would undertake to finance a campaign to publicize my book from the political-ideological angle on a large scale—as the books of Willkie, Quentin Reynolds, Vincent Sheean, Steinbeck and the rest of the comrades have been publicized. My publishers are doing quite well with the book, but they can’t undertake the kind of campaign I have in mind and they can’t make it political.
Of course, I have a selfish motive in this—such a campaign would give me a name on a national scale. But I believe in selfish motives—and so do you, and so does any intelligent supporter of the capitalist system. However, you know me well enough to know that my financial gain is not my first concern in this case. I want the book and the ideas of this book to be spread all over the country. When you read it, you’ll see what an indictment of the New Deal it is, what it does to the “humanitarians” and what effect it could have on the next election—although I never mention the New Deal by name. People who’ve read it told me that, without any prompting on my part. And to prove to any potential backer that I’m not after his money to swell my own royalties, I am willing to give him such share of my rights in the book as he would consider proper to cover his risk.
I would still profit by the build-up. That will be my gain—and that will also be the gain of our side. You know what a good propagandist I am and what I can do, as witness that little manifesto I wrote in five days. Let our side now build me up into a “name”—then let me address meetings, head drives and endorse committees. I think I can do better than the Steinbecks and Orson Welleses—and God knows they’ve done plenty for their side. I can be a real asset to our “reactionaries”, and I say it as a matter of fact, not of conceit. I have always thought that the reactionaries should discover me. But I had nothing concrete to offer them. Now I have. Let them get behind me. I performed a miracle in getting a book like this published in these times, when the whole publishing world is trembling before Washington. Now let the reactionaries help me spread the book. If the book goes over big, it will break the way for other writers of our side. If it’s allowed to be killed by the Reds—our good industrialists had better not expect anyone else to stick his neck out in order to try to save them from getting their throats cut.