Letter 067, pg. 1

To DeWitt Emery

Two days before AR’s letter below, Emery had written a note to her requesting that she “read and return [it] with your comments.” Also, dated the same day (September 23) as her letter, is a telegram from Emery: “Need your suggestions for revising booklet can you mail today.”

This letter was published only on the Ayn Rand Institute website.


September 23, 1941

Mr. DeWitt M. Emery
1635 Pittsfield Building
Chicago, Illinois.

Dear Mr. Emery:

If I tell you that it is now 5 a.m. and I have just finished typing my version of the booklet which I am enclosing—you will forgive me for my delay in sending you the material I promised.

Not only did I have one of my busiest weeks, with heavy rush assignments from the studio, but I had to hunt for a new apartment and to make arrangements for moving day after tomorrow. I thought that you wanted the outline of the organization first, so I had not worked on the booklet until today—I only had a general idea of what I wanted to do with it. When I got your wire, I had to make arrangements with the studio to give me the day off. I hope that I have not inconvenienced you too much by the delay and that this will reach you in time.

I re-typed the whole thing—using parts of your version and substituting others. I hope that I have not departed too far from what you wanted. I made an outline of what I thought was the aim and purpose of the booklet—then stated it in my own way. I hope that it will meet with your approval—but you know that I am always open to and grateful for criticism.

I know that you will see for yourself what reasons prompted me to make such changes as I made. But if you want my written criticism of the booklet’s original version—for any possible discussion with your colleagues—I will state it here briefly:

1. There is a glaring, dangerous, unresolved contradiction between the opening of the booklet—the statement that national defense is destroying small business—and the later declaration that “the unconditional building of an impregnable defense” is the first aim of the NSBMA. As long as the defense situation is being used as the basis of the booklet’s whole appeal—our attitude towards it has to be stated unequivocably, beyond any un-patriotic suspicion and to