Robert Pfeiffer

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.

Immanuel Velikovsky