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March 20, 1940

Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky
3 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y.

Dear Dr. Velikovsky:-

We appreciate your sending us, with your letter of March 10 th, the two reprints of your work, in order to give us an idea about your proposed book, THE HATRED OF NATIONS.

This company is always interested in new projects, and we have been glad to go over your material and discuss in our editorial conference the possibility of such a book fitting in with out future publishing commitments. Since we can see little chance of finding a place for your work on our forthcoming schedule, we do not feel we can, in all fairness, suggest that you forward the complete manuscript for us to consider.

May we not thank you for thinking of us as possible publishers of your work? We are returning your reprints, herewith.

Very truly yours,

Cambridge 38, Massachusetts

January 18, 1950

Editorial Department
The Macmillan Company
60 Fifth Avenue
New York II, N.Y.


I have heard a rumor from a source that should be reliable that possibly Macmillan Company will not proceed to the publication of Dr. Velikovsky’s “Worlds in Collision.” This rumor is the first item with regard to the Velikovsky business that makes for sanity. What books you publish is of course no affair of mine; and certainly I would depend on your expert judgment rather than on my own feelings in the matter. But I thought it might be well to record with you that a few scientists with whom I have talked about this matter (and this includes the President of Harvard University and all of the members of the Harvard Observatory staff) are not a little astonished that the great Macmillan Company, famous for its scientific publications, would venture into the Black Arts without rather careful refereeing of the manuscript.

The Velikovsky declaration or hypothesis or creed that the sun stood still is the most arrant nonsense of my experience, and I have met my share of crackpots. The fact that civilization exists at the present time is the most profound evidence I know of that nothing of this sort happened in historic times. The earth did not stop rotating in the interests of exegesis.

This note, of course, is not for publication or any further use than to report that to one reader of Macmillan’s scientific books the aforementioned rumor is a great relief.

Sincerely yours,

Harlow Shapley

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