To Monroe Shakespeare [Letter 95]

Item Reference Code: 004_15C_004_001

Date(s) of creation

October 10, 1943


Monroe Shakespeare


Shakespeare Company was a manufacturer of fishing tackle.

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139 East 35th Street
New York City

October 10, 1943

Mr. Monroe Shakespeare
241 East Kalamazoo Avenue
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Dear Monroe:

I don’t quite know how to answer your letter. When I read, in the copy of the letter you sent out, the paragraph about your putting up money of your own for my book, I wanted to cry.[*] It was the kind of emotional shock I’ve never experienced before. I didn’t think or ever expect you to offer your own money for this campaign. One reads about beautiful gestures like that in books, but they never happen in real life and I never thought anything like it would happen to me. All I can say now is that if you should ever need my help in any way, you can have it—in anything short of advocating collectivism and two other crimes I wouldn’t commit. I told about you to a friend of mine who is very embittered about our conservatives in general—and she said you were a miracle and “nature’s nobleman.” She meant it. So do I.

I telephoned Mr. Virgil Jordan and he gave me an appointment—which is another tribute to you, for I was told that he is the hardest man in New York to see. I saw him Friday—and he was extremely nice, he spent a whole hour talking to me. Because of his organization, he is not able to write to people for money, but he said he would give you the names of important prospects and the permission to use his name as endorsing the project. Incidentally, he told me he is going to put out a new political magazine, in January, and wants me to do an article for it based on my Manifesto. He knows only too well and agrees with us that the situation in the magazine and publishing world is simply horrifying, as far as the control by the pinks is concerned.

Thursday afternoon, Mr. Aaron E. Carpenter telephoned me long distance from Philadelphia. He has read half of my book so far, is most enthusiastic and asked me to have lunch with him Tuesday when he is coming to New York. I have never met him before—so look how your name is working. This is a greater magic than William Shakespeare ever worked. (I’ve never cared for him too much anyway—from now on my first Shakespeare is Monroe.)

The book is doing very well at the moment—it has risen on the Herald-Tribune best seller list in today’s issue. It has appeared as best-seller in San Francisco

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for the first time—which is very unusual this long after publication, and most encouraging. It means word-of-mouth advertising and genuine response from the readers, which means that the book does have popular appeal. If your project goes through now, the book and I will be made in a big way.

I am having the publishers send you two more copies—one for Fulton Lewis, Jr. I am most anxious to follow up this possibility—unless you have decided against it for some reason. But if you haven’t and if Mr. Lewis would be willing to mention the book favorably (and politically) in his broadcast—it would be simply terrific! Let me know if you need any more copies and I shall have them sent so you’ll have them on hand, in case.

I am enclosing a copy of a little debate in print I did for “Wake up, America!”[**] It’s not much, but it goes into 870 papers, so it’s good publicity and at least a few points hammered home against the collectivists. Notice how Mr. Villard [Oswald Garrison Villard, former editor of The Nation] was afraid to admit that he’s for collectivism. I think we can make that word stick and use it as they used “capitalism.”

Regards from both of us to Mrs. Shakespeare and yourself. You know I am not a religious person in the conventional manner, but I want to say in my own sense and in every best sense men have ever said it: God bless you!

Gratefully yours,


Ayn Rand


*The money was to advertise for The Fountainhead.
**A syndicated debate sponsored by the American Economic Forum.