Letter 108, pg. 3


But the line about “the savage’s whole existence” (at bottom of page) must be kept as I marked it. Here again the meaning has been changed. It is incorrect to say that savages are ruled by their leaders; they are not; they are ruled by tribal laws and customs which also bind the leaders. It is my point that leaders usurp power. It is my point that the attempt to make all existence public and subject to communal laws or decrees is a reversion to savagery.    

In the marginal note of my biography (Page 1), somebody gave you some wrong information. I came to this country in 1926, not 1931. My play “Night of January 16th” ran on Broadway for seven months, not three years. It was a good run, but not that good. I would rather not list my novel “Anthem” because it has not been published in this country, only in England. Above all—and this is most important to me—I would like my novel “The Fountainhead” described as “a novel on individualism.” I am asking this merely as a favor. If a reader likes my article and knows that my novel deals with the same subject, he would want to read the novel. This was my main purpose in selling this article to the Committee for Constitutional Government—to publicize the theme of my novel. So it is most important to me that this note appear in the article and its reprints. If you find it possible to do this—I would be extremely grateful.   

Thanking you again for your acceptance,                                                   

Sincerely yours,

Ayn Rand


The Ayn Rand Archives contains no response from Wallace regarding Rand’s changes, and, despite the importance of her changes, the published version does not reflect those changes. In her biographical interviews, Rand mentions the Reader’s Digest reprint but makes no reference to any editing. The reprint by the Committee for Constitutional Government (see previous letter) does reflect Rand’s changes, as does the reprint in The Ayn Rand Column (New Milford, CT: Second Renaissance Books, 1991).