August 14, 1941
Mr. DeWitt M. Emery
National Small Business Men’s Association
Dear Mr. Emery:
Thank you for your letter and the copy of “Pulling Together” which you sent me. I should be most interested to read your editorial on “Saps, Suckers and Fools”. It’s a swell title. Thank you for recommending me as a speaker in Chicago. I should be very glad to speak there—provided I’m really allowed to say something important and uncompromising. I’m no good at all as a polite speaker to an audience that agrees with me. During the [Wendell Willkie 1940 presidential] campaign, I was at my best among hecklers, on street corners and in 14th Street. I suppose that’s my fighting instinct.
I have quite a few things to report to you. A few days ago I saw Gloria Swanson and had a nice long talk with her. She is really a splendid person. She feels as strongly about our cause as she did during the campaign—but she feels as we do, that our side is not doing enough. She said that she was not interested in another one of those “preserve democracy” organizations. So I was delighted to explain to her that that’s precisely what we don’t intend to organize, and I gave her a copy of my Manifesto. Next morning, she telephoned me very early—and I can’t repeat what she said about the Manifesto, it would sound too much like boasting on my part. The important thing is that she said it was precisely what she believed, and she would fight for a cause and an organization like ours. Now we can count her in on our Committee—and she said she will introduce me to several prominent men who can be useful to us, as Committee members and as backers. So I’m very happy about it and hoping for the best.
Today I saw Mr. Gall again. He wanted to see me because he is leaving town next week and will be gone until after Labor Day. He told me that the people he had in mind for us will not be in town until then, but that he is keeping after them and that we can count upon him for action. He seems quite genuinely interested and I think he will really help us.
I’m sorry that all I have to report so far are only “prospects”, but then you’re the one who told me that one must be patient in organization work—so I’m being patient and optimistic.
I’ve been sort of waiting for your answer to my long letter “with questions”—but I thought I’d get this out to you now.