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Lowenfeld, H. (1967). Thomas Woodrow Wilson. A Psychological Study: By Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1967. 307 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 36:271-279.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:271-279

Thomas Woodrow Wilson. A Psychological Study: By Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1967. 307 pp.

Review by:
Henry Lowenfeld

That almost thirty years after his death a work is published with Freud's name as one of its authors is certainly an event that one would look forward to with excitement. That the work deals with one of the great figures of modern history could only heighten the interest. But reading this book is not only a disappointment: more than this, it is a depressing experience.

Before reviewing the book something about its history, as far as it is known, has to be told. Bullitt, in a foreword, writes that Freud and he had been friends for some years; that when he called on Freud in Berlin in 1930 and told him that he was working on a book about the Treaty of Versailles, Freud was interested and said he would like to collaborate in writing the chapter on Wilson. From this encounter the book derived its origin. Bullitt states: 'We started to work on our book at once; but to complete it required about ten years'. Bullitt collected material and compiled notes which ran to more than fifteen hundred typewritten pages. According to Bullitt 'Freud wrote the first draft of portions of the manuscript and I wrote the first draft of other portions. Each then criticized, amended or rewrote the other's draft until the whole became an amalgam for which we were both responsible.' In the spring of 1932, however, when the manuscript was ready to be typed in final form, they disagreed about textual changes and new passages. But Bullitt wished that both should sign each chapter 'so that at least a signed unpublishable manuscript would exist. We did so.'

It should be recalled here that when the Nazis entered Vienna in 1938, Bullitt did all in his power to help Freud. He turned to President Roosevelt who alerted the United States ambassadors in various European countries, and it is most likely that these steps protected Freud from worse treatment and may have saved his life. When Bullitt, then American Ambassador in France, met Freud at the railroad station in Paris in 1938, he suggested discussing their work later in London.

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