Discovery of the novel, found in a Seattle garage, has led scholars to rethink the role of the sci-fi writer's place in literary history, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
"The impression was that he was writing commercial fiction from Day 1. Like a juggernaut he dominated science fiction," said Robert James, a Heinlein scholar who tracked down the missing manuscript and later wrote an afterword to "For Us, the Living."
"Actually from Day 1," James said, "he was writing what society should be about."
"For Us, the Living" tells the story of a man who dies in 1938 but is magically transported to 2086 and takes a look back at what occurred in the interim.