Eric Larrabee


Eric Larrabee (1922-1990) was a writer and author of the article “The Day the Sun Stood Still“, that appeared in the January 1950 issue of Harper’s magazine, describing Velikovsky‘s then soon-to-be published book, Worlds in Collision. He also wrote the “Introduction” to Velikovsky’s book, published posthumously, Stargazers and Gravediggers.

Velikovsky’s editor

Larrabee writes:

“The editor in chief of Harper’s Magazine was then Frederick Lewis Allen. The Allens were friends of James Putnam, Velikovsky’s editor at Macmillan, and Putnam had told them that a book he was going to publish contained the extraordinary assertion that while the sun stood still for Joshua at midday, there were legends among the pre-Columbian American Indians of a time when the night had lasted too long or the sun had risen slightly above the horizon and stood still. It was one of those arresting items which stick in the mind, and it became a part of the Allens’ repertory of bits and pieces of information they delighted in. .. When he saw a prepublication announcement of Worlds in Collision, he made the connection and sent to Macmillan for an advance copy of the galley proofs.

“We all read them and wanted to publish whatever part or parts we could. I was assigned the job of reducing them, by judicious cutting and trimming, to a usable manuscript of perhaps several installments of 4,000 to 5,000 words each. Shortly I had to report failure. Deprived of its cumulative reinforcing detail, Velikovsky’s argument lost much of its persuasiveness and at best was forbiddingly complex for magazine purposes. If we were going to print anything, it would have to be an article about Velikovsky’s theory, which Mr. Allen thereupon asked me to write since I was the one most familiar with it conveniently at hand. This seemed to me a poor idea. I pointed out that I had no standing as a science writer and no visible qualifications therefor. But Fred, when he badly wanted a contribution to Harper’s, could be persuasive, and over my reluctance I was persuaded. The unsuccessful cut version of Worlds in Collision became the basis for an attempt to describe it.”

“.. In the course of things I became Velikovsky’s editor for the reply to his critics he prepared for Harper’s and for his reply to John Stewart‘s reply to him. Later I drew on his help for a subsequent Harper’s article (July 1963) attempting to give him credit for validations of his theory it seemed to me were going unrecognized and for a further reply to Donald Menzel‘s reply to me (I have been wrongly praised for the short shrift Menzel was given; the rebuttal was effective, but it was Velikovsky’s doing in my words)”[1]Eric Larrabe, “Introduction”, Stargazers and Gravediggers 1983, William Morrow and Company, ISBN 0-688-01545-X

Selected bibliography


  • “Introduction”, Stargazers and Gravediggers 1983, William Morrow and Company, ISBN 0-688-01545-X
  • Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and Their War, Publ. 2004, US Naval Institute Press (April 2004) ISBN 1591144558 (At

See also



1 Eric Larrabe, “Introduction”, Stargazers and Gravediggers 1983, William Morrow and Company, ISBN 0-688-01545-X
Skip to content