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To DeWitt Wallace
March 10, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mr. Wallace:
Yesterday at a meeting of the principal officials of the Army Service Forces celebrating the second anniversary of its organization, General Somervell made a very informative resume of the work done and particularly of the problems ahead. It occurred to me that this information would be of great public interest and I wondered if a magazine such as the Reader’s Digest would care to make use of his talk.1
General Surles, the head of our Bureau of Public Relations, advises me that the article demands too much background to appeal immediately to a publisher. He therefore recommends that he be authorized to arrange with Collier’s Weekly and the Reader’s Digest to collaborate on an article which will contain an interview with General Somervell, embracing the highlights of his remarks and filling in the necessary background. Quite probably he is right in his advice. Nevertheless, I am sending you direct a copy of General Somervell’s statement for your consideration. Certain portions should be omitted and have been crossed out in red pencil. There are probably other portions that would not make a proper appeal to the average reader, but I have no basis for a professional opinion on this phase of the matter.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. DeWitt Wallace was coeditor, along with Lila Acheson Wallace, of the Reader’s Digest. General Marshall enclosed Somervell’s forty-five-page statement. See the previous document (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-281 [4: 331-32].
2. Wallace replied that the May 1944 issue included an article by Somervell. (Wallace to Marshall, April 4, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) See Lieutenant General Brehon Somervell, “The Men Behind the Invasion,” Reader’s Digest 44 (May 1944): 86-90.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 332-333.