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STEINECK, JOHN. Typed Letter Signed, "John," to author and Collier's editor Edward Anthony, thanking for praise, anticipating the public reaction to a work ["The Secret Weapon We Were Afraid to Use"?], declining an invitation, and sending thanks and Christmas wishes. 1 page, 4to, personal stationery; paper clip stain at upper left, horizontal folds. New York, 16 December 1952
"I have your letter and I accept your praise with the greatest of pleasure. It will be very interesting to me to see the reaction to the piece. It will undoubtedly cause a great deal of animosity among certain groups, which shall be nameless. "The trouble with inviting me, or offering hospitality to me is my tendency to accept . . . . I have been working rather distractedly for the last few weeks and I hope some time . . . that I won't have four things to do at once. Then I will welcome a little temptation. . . ." In the January 10, 1953, issue of Collier's Weekly, an article of Steinbeck's appeared: "The Secret Weapon We Were Afraid to Use." In the article, Steinbeck recounts the events during World War II when he, together with a friend, proposed to President Roosevelt a weapon that would defeat the enemy without harming the allies: first request that the U.S. Treasury print vast amounts of counterfeit enemy currency, then drop it over the enemy from the air. The resulting inflation, Steinbeck expected, would undermine the local economy without significant effect elsewhere; Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau, however, found the idea outrageous. The article goes on to suggest that such a weapon could be employed against future enemies.
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