Letter 097

To Isabel Turner, a fan

139 East 35th Street
New York City

October 17, 1943 

Dear Miss Turner: 

Thank you for your lovely letter. Of course I was “interested in knowing what one medium library is doing with my book,” as you put it. And I was very glad to hear what you thought of my book.    

Yes, I am happy if “The Fountainhead” is rising on pure merit, as you say. But I believe that it takes a person of merit to recognize merit and to let the general public know it. It takes a person capable of independent judgment. I knew that “The Fountainhead” would need someone like yourself wherever it went. No help given to me personally would mean as much to me as any help given to my book. So if you were able to build it from two copies to thirty—I am very grateful to you. 

I was pleased to hear that you found many people who are in complete sympathy with my ideas of individualism. That is encouraging and hopeful for the future of our country. I have always believed that Americans were individualists, but one can’t help doubting it occasionally when one sees the solid stream of collectivist books that have been dumped on us for the last ten years. I hope this trend is changing. 

Please give my best regards to those in your library who took an interest in “The Fountainhead. If you hear any reader praising it and understanding its ideas—please give him my personal gratitude. I shall be in Hollywood in December—and I’ll come to the Bullock’s Book Club to thank you in person. 

Sincerely yours,


Ayn Rand