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
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.