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February 1, 1950

Professor Harlow Shapley
Harvard College Observatory
Cambridge 38, Massachusetts

My dear Professor Shapley:

Your letters of January 18 and January 25 with reference to Velikovsky’s WORLDS IN COLLISION have just been referred to me. Normally, presumably, they would have been handled by the vice-president in charge of our Trade Department, the department which has contracted for the publication of WORLDS IN COLLISION. But as Mr. Latham is in England, the correspondence has been referred to me.

At first glance it would seem that we owe a debt of gratitude for waving the red flag. Mr. Latham presumably knows all about this publication, but as he is not here and I only have available to me the documentary evidence from our files, I am taking your cautionary note to heart and am insisting that just as soon as the proofs can be made available—they are in the process of being corrected—we get the opinions of three scholars on the book as a whole.

I take it you yourself have not had an opportunity of reading the book. I think it would be a little unfair to ask you to do so at this time. But I do appreciate your having taken the trouble to flag us down, because it enables me to get three additional opinions on my own count to back up or to refute the opinions of those critics who reviewed the manuscript for Mr. Latham.

It isn’t often that scholars take the trouble to caution a publisher as you have. I am most grateful to you for your kindness.

Sincerely yours

[signed] George Brett

[President of the Macmillan Company]


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