In April 1940 I conceived the scheme of Ages in Chaos. In the
summer of 1942 Horace M. Kallen of the New School wrote a letter to Harry
Wolfson of Harvard and mailed to him my (first version) manuscript. Wolfson
gave the mns. to Robert H. Pfeiffer, who upon reading it answered him
with some criticism. Now in August 1942, visiting Wolfson, and being given
Pfeiffer’s letter, I soon met with the latter for a longer discussion.
The correspondence presented here followed.
Oxford University Press kept my manuscript for fourteen months, but decided
against it upon the advice of Ephraim Speiser (the author of the Hurrian
grammar), as I realized upon finding the mns. still in Speiser’s envelope.
It so happened that later also, due to unobservance, the name of the negative
critic for the Harvard University Press was revealed to me.
Having been examined and rejected by these two publishers, the mns. was
submitted one after another to six or seven commercial publishers; then
in the late summer of 1946 I started the round of eight publishers with
the mns. of Worlds in Collision, and saw both my works rejected.
Almost all refusals were based on the same opinion—the book with so many
references (footnotes) needed to be published with some outside support.
Macrnillan took a different attitude, and accepted Worlds in Collision.
The correspondence of the mid-1950s centers around my efforts to obtain
samples of organic material of the time of the New Kingdom, and have them
dated by radiocarbon tests.