Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Supports Martin Luther King

Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Supports Martin Luther King

Correspondence with Editor Wayne Cowan

Christianity and Crisis
A Christian Journal of Opinion
537 WEST 121ST STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10027
TELEPHONE: MOnument 2-5907

April 13, 1970

Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr
Yale Hill
Stockbridge, Mass. 01262

Dear Dr. Niebuhr:

We have at last printed your article on "The Presidency and the Irony of American History." I regret that we had to wait so long to do so, but I do not believe that the impact of what you have to say has been in any sense limited or affected.

Roger suggested the introduction, which I think is a very useful means of putting the whole matter into context. The Lincoln quote was my own discovery; I hope you think it adds to your undertaking.

I may have told this to Christopher and he may have already repeated it to you. But in case he didn't, let me tell you that Andy Young told me recently that in the quiet hours when he and Martin King would sit and talk that Martin always said he was much more influenced by you and Paul Tillich than by Gandhi and that the nonviolent technique was merely a Niebuhrian stratagem of power. Enough said!

I had a nice conversation with June Bingham last week.

I hope that you and Mrs. Niebuhr are well. My best wishes to you both.

Sincerely yours,
Wayne H. Cowan


Reinhold Niebuhr Papers: Library of Congress, Manuscript Reading Room

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Paul Elie

is senior editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage.

Jean Bethke Elshtain

is an author and Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Robin Lovin

is Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, and the author of Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism.