To Monroe Shakespeare [Letter 104]

Item Reference Code: 004_15B_019_001

Date(s) of creation

November 16, 1943


Monroe Shakespeare


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139 East 35th Street
New York City

November 16, 1943

Dear Monroe:

Thank you very much for your letter and for all the thought you have given to my problem. Your analysis of the situation was very valuable to me and I think you are entirely right. I shall not undertake to risk any money until I am certain of what results a publicity man can offer for it, and in any event I shall not do it without consulting you or being sure that it does not conflict with any action you decide to undertake.

I have been checking up on publicity men with a great many people here—and the general opinion is that $10,000 is too much to spend, that no such sum should be necessary for the purpose. So you were correct on that. But it seems extremely difficult to find a reliable press agent of the proper political standing. I am still looking for one.

I am afraid that my publishers cannot be of help in this, precisely for the reason you mentioned: they do no promotion except of the most conventional, routine, strictly literary-market style, and they would neither venture nor understand a campaign of political promotion. They would not know how to reach the public from that angle. Since advertising is very helpful to a general sale of the book, and they do know how to handle that, their own promotion is more effective in that medium. I discussed the question with them and they were eager to have me organize my own campaign, but they could offer no practical suggestions, since it is out of their experience.

Dr. Jordan telephoned me and asked me to have lunch with him on Friday, the 19th. He has just finished reading “The Fountainhead” and was so extremely complimentary about it that it took my breath away. I shall ask him whether he has any further suggestions on our problem—and I shall report to you.

Frank and I are leaving New York on the 28th and will be in Chicago on the 29th, where we will stay for four days. We will leave our things in Chicago, then make a trip to Kalamazoo from there—it will be better than descending upon you with all our hand[]luggage, a typewriter and a cat. Will you let me know which day you would like us to come and how long you care to endure

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our company? I will make no other engagements in Chicago, until I hear from you. I am looking forward most eagerly to seeing you again.

With best regards from both of us to both of you,

Gratefully yours,


Ayn Rand