THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
January 24, 1950
Professor Harlow Shapley
Harvard College Observatory
Cambridge 38, Mass.
Dear Professor Shapley:
Thank you very much for your letter of January 18 which has been referred to me, as I have been working with Dr. Velikovsky on his book, WORLDS IN COLLISION, for several years. I am afraid that the rumor which you have heard is unfounded, as the book is about to go to press and we plan to publish it on March 28.
As I am sure you realize, we are publishing this book not as a scientific publication, but as the presentation of a theory which, it seemed to us, should be brought to the attention of scholars in the various fields of science with which it deals. Obviously it is a most controversial theory, and we have long since faced the fact that there will be a great diversity of reaction to the book. As to Dr. Velikovskys scholarly attainments, you will perhaps be interested in the brief summary of biographical data regarding him, which I am enclosing.
As you probably know, the publication of the article by Eric Larrabee in Harpers has created a wide-spread interest in the book. When you see the book itself, in which, I may add, many changes have been made in the final proof, I shall be very much interested to know whether or not your feeling about it remains the same. I shall be glad to see that a copy is sent to you as soon as stock is available, which will probably be early in March.
I appreciate very much the spirit in which your letter was written, but I cannot believe that our publication of this book, which is presented by us as a theory, will affect your feeling toward our publications in the scientific field.
[signed] James Putnam