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A Letter From The Publisher, Aug. 4, 1952

4 minute read

Although I told you recently that TIME’S circulation office was not equipped to handle barter transactions. Dave Ballard. circulation manager for TIME-LIFE International, has just made an exception to the rule, with no questions asked. Subscriber Claude Winter wrote him from British Guiana: “You’ll find enclosed … a half-carat diamond … to extend my subscription to TIME as far as it will go … I hope you’ll grant this request. I’m working in the hinterland of this country, with an interest in diamond mining, and I’m situated far from most civilized amenities.”

Ballard had the uncut stone weighed. It tipped the scales at 41 points, just short of half a carat. Dealers appraised the stone at $10, so Ballard swapped it even for a one-year renewal subscription to TIME’S Latin American edition (value: $12.50). Said Ballard: “It wasn’t so much the principle as the irresistible appeal.”

From Johannesburg. South Africa, Arnold Abrams sends in his own estimate of the value of reading TIME. Reader Abrams wrote me recently: “A friend and I broke the bank at [a] giveaway show in Johannesburg. We won £205, about $615. The question was: Who won the European figure-skating championship for women? I said Jeannette Altwegg—which was right! … I would not have known if it were not for my reading TIME from cover to cover every week.”

When Foreign News Writer Eldon Griffiths was in TIME’S Los Angeles bureau, one of his favorite stories concerned a well-behaved but homeless lion whose young master had been inducted into the Army. The lad had reported at Fort Ord with the lion, was given two weeks to find a more appropriate place to leave it. Touched by this state of affairs, Griffiths took it upon himself to find a home for the outsized pet.

At one point. Griffiths was driving the lion around in his car. its front paws on the front seat, hind legs on the back seat and head out the window. When blase Californians refused to look twice at what they thought was a stuffed lion, Griffiths nonchalantly poked the beast, elicited a pained roar and horrified attention from passersby.

Eventually, Griffiths turned the lion to his own profit and found a good home for it. He and Sidney Franklin Jr. wrote an original story about the lion which M-G-M purchased. The movie was produced under the title Fearless Pagan, with the lion playing the leading role. For a review of the film, see CINEMA in this week’s issue.

In the story on The Younger Generation (TIME, Nov. 5), the expression that most young people seemed to resent (often while grudgingly admitting its accuracy) was “silent generation.”

C. Cole Hawley, a 22-year-old English major at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y., had been thinking of bringing out a magazine for that generation. When he read TIME’S story, his decision was made. This summer, Hawley and a group of college undergraduates and recent graduates published the first issue of a quarterly called the new Generation.

Said an article on the title page: “We knew that while our generation had something to say, it wasn’t beating its collective breast about the fact … It seemed that we would have to have a new magazine so that the new generation (we kept TIME’S age limits of 18-28) might speak.”

The first issue sold 1,000 copies, but lost between $500 and $600. The editors hope to do much better with the second issue this fall.

In a new book called The 100 Most Important People in the World Today, Author Donald Robinson has selected 100 people who, he feels, “have had the greatest impact upon our civilization in the last 15 years,” and those who “may have the greatest impact in the next 10 years.” I was interested in seeing how many of his choices had appeared on TIME’S covers (in the past 29 years). There were 60.

Among the 100 who have been cover subjects: Lavrenty P. Beria, head of Russia’s secret police; British Publisher Lord Beaverbrook; Scientist Irving Langmuir; Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin ; Pope Pius XII ; Philosopher Albert Schweitzer; Poet T. S. Eliot. Among those who have not : Indian Industrialist J. R. D. Tata; Soviet Journalist Ilya Ehrenburg; Atomic Spy Klaus Fuchs; Argentine Physiologist Bernardo A. Houssay; blind Egyptian Scholar Taha Hussein.

Cordially yours,

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