Letter 106, pg. 2
head of the Research Department at the National Headquarters of the Associated Wilkie [sic] Clubs. It was my job to find and spread literature in support of capitalism. At that time I saw the desperate public need for intellectual ammunition. We received letters by the thousands, begging us for information. People said in effect that they wanted to defend free enterprise, but did not know how to do it; they got stumped by collectivist arguments and had no answers. They begged us for answers. More than that: whenever we sent out some mild, ineffectual, compromising piece of campaign literature, we got no response. Whenever we sent out a clear, strong, consistent piece of writing—we got requests for thousands of reprints, we could not keep up with the demand from local clubs and private individuals.
The same situation is true now—only more so. There is a huge public demand for ammunition against collectivism, an actual public hunger—which no one tries to satisfy. There is a market which is simply going begging. “The God of the Machine” is the answer—and a potential gold-mine for its publishers, if properly exploited.
But to do this, you must inform the public that:
a) It is not just another book on free enterprise. So many of them have been published and they were so bad, weak, muddled, unconvincing and ineffectual that the public has been disappointed too often and is now wary.
b) It is not another “middle-of-the-road” mess, but a clear, strong, fighting document. (Don’t soften the nature of the book—stress it.)
c) It is the book on capitalism and individualism, the book that will give readers ammunition in any argument with collectivists, the book that will answer their every question and tell them everything they want to know about Americanism— philosophically, historically, economically, morally.
If this were told to the public—through a clear, well-thought-out campaign of publicity backed by a few intelligent ads—(such a campaign would not even need to be too costly, merely well-planned and through the right channels)—there would be no stopping the sale of the book. The response would astonish you—not merely response from “important” men and intellectuals, but from average people and the general public. Let me assure you of this. I know.
As a minor illustration, let me mention the fate of my own book “The Fountainhead.” It is a novel on individualism.