c/o Random House
457 Madison Avenue
New York 22, New York
December 14, 1957
Dear Mrs. McManus:
Thank you for your very attractive letter. Or, to be exact, “attractive” applies to the personality that your letter seems to communicate.
I am glad that you liked ATLAS SHRUGGED. You say that it frightened you. It was meant to. But—forewarned is forearmed. We are still free to stop the collectivist-altruist trend that is destroying the world. My purpose was not merely to portray the horror of altruism, but to show the kind of life and character men have the capacity to achieve on the proper, rational morality. My purpose is not just to defeat Wesley Mouch, but to make John Galt possible.
You say that you cannot find anyone willing to listen to you. I know that a hopeless, cynical passivity is people’s prevalent attitude today, as a result of our moral vacuum. But, for the same reason, there are people who are desperately eager to hear; they are those who have not given up. I suggest that you look for them. You may copy pages 410–415 of ATLAS SHRUGGED for private distribution to your friends, if you find it helpful. To whatever degree you succeed in making yourself heard, large or small—it is of such voices that the changes of world trends are made.
Wishing you “best premises”—