Robert Merrill Bartlett (1898–1995), pastor of the Longmeadow First Church of Christ (1932–1942), was a recognized authority on Pilgrim history, and author of 25 books in biography, religion and history. His interview with Einstein dealt with the climate of fear then sweeping Europe and whether pacifism was possible at such a time. He had evidently sent Einstein a copy for his approval prior to publication.
In his response, written from the elaborate summer home the "White House" he had rented in Old Lyme Connecticut, Einstein gives Bartlett permission to publish their conversation, with two exceptions: "I must ask you to leave out the two passages crossed out. I have not broken up with friends and do not understand what is meant by separation from my sons; this has to be left out. Furthermore, it is true that I have expressed the opinion that far-reaching progress in a country's social and economic organizations can be made rather in times of serious need than under fairly healthy condition." Such progress, he believes, is more likely in Europe rather than in America. "But it cannot be advantageous, if this were published in America, especially not in the form you have chosen. Because, firstly, it would hurt and secondly, would have objectively a rather unfavorable effect."
The interview appeared under the title "Peace must be waged" in the Survey Graphic (August 1935), p. 384.
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