Edward Rumely (1882–1964) was, according to Wikipedia, pro-Germany in World War I. He was convicted of “trading with the enemy” but was pardoned by President Coolidge. Rumely helped establish the Committee for Constitutional Government in 1941. An early supporter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he broke with FDR over FDR’s attempted Supreme Court “packing” plan (a term that Rumely supposedly coined).
This letter was previously published only on the Ayn Rand Institute website.
December 8, 1943
Dr. Edward A. Rumely
Committee for Constitutional Government
205 East 42nd Street
New York City
Dear Dr. Rumely:
I am very sorry that I have unwittingly kept you waiting—but I did not arrive in Hollywood until December 5th (I stopped in Chicago for a few days) and I did not report to the Warner Brothers Studios until yesterday, when your letter and wire were given to me.
The terms of the division of the $1,500 paid by Reader’s Digest for “The Only Path to Tomorrow” are acceptable to me as you suggest: $800 to me and $700 to your organization for the further distribution of the article.
I have made some changes in the proofs of the condensed article, which I am enclosing. I am enclosing also a letter to Mr. DeWitt Wallace, explaining my changes. Please read it and forward it to him. You will see why the changes were necessary. There aren’t many, but I have to insist on them. Also, please explain to Mr. Wallace the reason for my delay in answering you.
I am enclosing the copy of your letter, which I have signed—with the one added provision about the changes in the proofs of the article.
I am greatly disturbed by the fact that the proofs contain a separate box with a quotation from Wendell Willkie. The disturbing question is: will this box appear in the reprints of my article which you are ordering from the Reader’s Digest? If it does, it will look as if I am more being endorsed by or am collaborating with Mr. Willkie. There is no man in America at present to whom I am more opposed than to Mr. Willkie. I do not mind the box in the pages of a magazine, because it has no relation to me, but in the pages of a separate pamphlet, it will have. I never dreamed of a possibility of mypamphlet being issued like that and I am most anxious to prevent it. Can you have the thing reprinted without the box? If you can, please do so and save me from a most
embarrassing and unhappy situation.
Thanking you for your co-operation and with my best wishes for our mutual success,
P.S. Thank you for the books which you sent me. I appreciate it very much.
On December 16, 1941, Rumely wired Rand that the January “edition” of his newsletter had already been distributed and failure to correct the proof in time “was due partly [to] your delay” in returning the proof. However, he wrote, “Reprints can and will be adjusted in accordance with your letter and corrections.” The copy in the Archives does indeed reflect the requested changes that Reader’s Digest ignored.