To John William Rogers [Letter 234]

Item Reference Code: 147_R2x_029_001

Date(s) of creation

July 22, 1946


John William Rogers


[Page 1]
10000 Tampa Avenue
Chatsworth, California

July 22, 1946 

Mr. John William Rogers
Book Week
The Chicago Sun
400 West Madison Street
Chicago 6, Illinois

Dear Mr. Rogers: 

Thank you for your letter of June 28th. 

I had not seen any reviews of THE FOUNTAINHEAD except those that appeared at publication; so in fairness to you, I wrote to the Times-Herald of Dallas to obtain the review which you mentioned. I have read it with interest, and appreciate it very much. 

I fully appreciate the sincerity of your attitude and of your offer, but it does not change the fact that I cannot write for The Chicago Sun. I most certainly “put my basis of cooperation on reviews which have appeared”, as you say in your letter. I assume you meant and realized that much more than a literary issue is involved in this attitude on my part. 

The review of my book in The Chicago Sun was not a literary review, neither in fact nor in motive. It was a sample of the usual “smear” technique practiced by collectivists against all those who advocate the philosophy of Individualism, as I do. The Chicago Sun is a newspaper whose policy preaches Collectivism. No, I do not say that you are necessarily a collectivist yourself. In fact, I strongly suspect that you are not. It is possible that you might make the Book Week of the Chicago Sun into an honest literary paper, if they permit you to. But even though I would like to cooperate with you personally, I cannot let my name appear as that of a contributor to The Chicago Sun, because this would amount to an endorsement of its policy and an acceptance of its inexcusable insult to my book. I do not cooperate or collaborate with Collectivism. 

You say in your letter that you wished “to make a gracious gesture in my direction” and “hold out a hand in friendship”. I accept your gesture in just that spirit as far as you are concerned. I suspected that this was so and that you were new on the staff of the Chicago Sun, from your first letter. 

[Page 2]
Page 2     Mr. John William Rogers     7-22-46

Of course, an offer from a newspaper to write an article is not a one-sided favor done to an author—but an exchange to the mutual advantage of both parties, like any proper exchange in a free capitalistic society (in which I believe). It would be to my advantage to have my name and article appear in a newspaper’s literary supplement—and it would be to the newspaper’s advantage to run an article by me, since there are readers interested in what I have to say. This is the only kind of proper and moral cooperation between men, co-operation that profits both sides. What would make it immoral in this particular case is the fact that I cannot accept the help of The Chicago Sun nor offer it mine. 



Ayn Rand