The Clarence Darrow Digital Collection
Written letter from Clarence Darrow collection
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Clarence Darrow Signature

The Clarence Darrow Letters

Irving Stone to Paul Darrow, October 29, 1941

Click on the image to view as a PDF. A transcription of the letter is on the right.


Oct. 29, 1941.

Dear Paul:

I have received a number of letters from the people to whom your copies of the book were sent: Karl Darrow, Fay Lewis, Morris st. P. Thomas, etc, and I am writing them all today to tell them that although the autographs were mine, the generosity of the gift was yours.

It is really too bad about the two source notes. Of course you did not say that all the officers began putting in bad loans! Nor did I! How could I, when Clarence Darrow was an officer? I take all responsibility for that statement. As for the Roberts story, he has been dead so many years now that no trouble can arise, but what interests me is, where did that story come from? I am not a sufficiently clever fiction writer to have imagined it. My notes must have been playing strange tricks on me; I don't know how the slip-up could have occured, for I thought I had a foolproof system of dating which precluded error. Well, we are all human.

The reviews have been uniformly good, with the exception of Fanny Butcher. Please get a copy of the Saturday Review of Literature for Oct. 27, which gives the book a magnificent front cover review. I also suggest that you secure a copy of PM's WEEKLY for Oct 26 (New York). P59.

Your vague reference to the fact that your family has suggested that "later on there will be things that you wont like" forces me to ask the question, "Didn't you know there would be things you wouldn't like? Didn't I tell you so during my last visit to your office? Didn't you say you knew it?" The book is an attempt to portray honest, penetratingly and completely Clarence Darrow, to give him his well earned position as one of America's authentic great. I could have not have written an honest book if I exercised too much censorship. As it is, I violated my own convictions a number of times by leaving out material about Mr Darrow that would have been enormously damaging to his personal character; I left these things out, though I had been able to document them, because I felt that they were perhaps not syptomatic, and could be dispensed with. That is something you might remember. You might also call Judge Francis Wilson if you would like to know what the world thinks of the book.

I ask you to write to me in the mood and manner in which our father would have wanted you to write. I am not angry at your silence, but I am very much hurt.


Irving Stone