To DeWitt Emery [Letter 63]

Item Reference Code: 139_E1x_016_001

Date(s) of creation

August 5, 1941


DeWitt Emery


DeWitt Emery (1882–1958) was founder of the National Small Business Men’s Association and the Small Business Economic Foundation (whose purpose was to explain to workers the advantages of the free-enterprise system). In her biographical interviews, Ayn Rand said that Emery was “a very outspoken free-enterpriser at the time. Since then, he’s become a compromiser.” Emery had written to AR that he had stayed up half the night reading We the Living

August 5, 1941

Mr. DeWitt M. Emery
Palmer House
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Mr. Emery:

Thank you for your letter about my book. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for it. It was worth writing the book—just to receive a letter like yours. You say that you’re “probably not doing a very good job of telling you what I want to express.” It was a beautiful job. It’s my turn now not to know how to express what I would like to say to thank you—but I hope that you, too, can read between the lines.

I gather that you had not yet received my letter to you of August 1. I hope it has reached you by now. I wrote in it about my interview with Mr. Gall and Mr. Lawson at the N.M.A.[*] Thank you very much for the copies of the Manifesto which you sent me—they will be very useful to me here.

I received today a copy of Mr. Pollock’s letter to you in regard to the Manifesto—and I must say I feel like warning you that our friend Mr. Pollock is inclined to exaggerate a little. I’ve never “lost faith in myself.” I don’t do that. If I do any faith-losing, it’s in other people, not in myself. You know that I’m a “hard and ruthless woman.” At least, I’d like to be.

THANK YOU for your letter,



*The correct acronym is N.A.M., for the National Association of Manufacturers.