Returning to Fortune, on the 52nd floor of Manhattan’s Chrysler Building, Agee sketched some 30,000 words on the families. (One biographer reports that Agee penned three articles, and Fortune rejected all three.) His long piece was neither suitably sized — though some of Agee’s earlier pieces, beloved by publisher Henry Luce, went to 15,000 words — nor given to the astringency of standard reporting. It had a poetic voice and a strident vision about modest families who survive in servitude. The Fortune editors, who maintained a bizarre mix of business advocacy and leftwing sympathy, mulled it over for a year, then abruptly killed it.