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Correspondence

Letter from Linus Pauling to Malcolm C. McKenna. October 19, 1961.
Pauling writes to scold McKenna for statements on atmospheric testing written by McKenna

Transcript

Dear Mr. McKenna:

Your letter shows that you are astoundingly ignorant. When you decide to criticize me, you should first find out whether you know the facts.

Your letter begins with the sentence "I am curious concerning why you have not raised your voice against Soviet atmospheric testing when you were so vociferous against such testing by Americans."

This sentence could hardly be more incorrect than it is.

First, I have raised my voice against Soviet atmospheric testing.

Second, I was not vociferous against such testing by Americans, but rather against all testing.

As to the first point, I enclose the statements that I gave to the news agencies on 31 August and 2 September (the latter a cable to Khrushchev) and my news release of 29 September. I also refer you to the two-page interview with me that was published by U. S. News and World Report in their issue of 2 October 1961, and to my various other published statements, including my articles in Frontier and other magazines.

As to the second, you clearly have not read my book No More War!, a flyer for which is enclosed, or you would know that I have strongly opposed nuclear tests by all nations.

You probably have made the mistake of relying upon TIME magazine for your information. This is a great mistake. TIME magazine had a copy of my statement of 31 August and my cable of 2 September, but suppressed mention of them, and misrepresented my position by saying only that I was opposed to American nuclear tests. I don’t know how the American people, including you, can protect themselves against being deluded by unscrupulous publishers. Again, let me urge that you try to find out the truth before writing letters such as your letter of 17 October to me. It is helpful in this respect to read some of the liberal magazines.

Yours truly,

[Linus Pauling]

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