William Christian Bullitt, Jr. bigraphy, stories - American diplomat

William Christian Bullitt, Jr. : biography

January 25, 1891 - February 15, 1967

William Christian Bullitt, Jr. (January 25, 1891 – February 15, 1967) was an American diplomat, journalist, and novelist. Although in his youth he was considered something of a radical, he later became an outspoken anticommunist.

Early years

Bullitt was born to a prominent, well-to-do Philadelphia family, the son of Louisa Gross Horwitz http://www.pennock.ws/surnames/fam/fam52830.html.and William Christian Bullitt, Sr. His grandfather was John Christian Bullitt, founder of the law firm today known as Drinker Biddle & Reath.TIME: He graduated from Yale University in 1913, after having been voted "most brilliant" in his class. He briefly attended Harvard Law School but dropped out on the death of his father in 1914. At Yale he was a member of Scroll and Key.

He married socialite Aimee Ernesta Drinker in 1916. She gave birth to a son in 1917, but the baby died after two days. They divorced in 1923. In 1924 he married Louise Bryant, widow of radical journalist John Reed. They divorced in 1930 after he discovered her affair with English sculptor Gwen Le Gallienne. In 1924, the Bullitts had a daughter, Anne Moen Bullitt, who in 1967 married U.S. Senator Daniel Brewster as her fourth husband.

Bullitt became a foreign correspondent in Europe and later a novelist. In 1926, he published It's Not Done, a satirical novel that the New York Times described as "a novel of ideas, whose limitation is that it is a volley, a propaganda novel, directed against a single institution, the American aristocratic ideal, and whose defect is that the smoke does not quite clear away so that one can accurately count the corpses."New York Times: , accessed November 12, 2010


  • Adamthwaite, Anthony, France and the Coming of the Second World War 1936–1939 (London: Frank Cass, 1977), ISBN 0-7146-3035-7
  • Brownell, Will, and Billings, Richard, So Close to Greatness: The Biography of William C. Bullitt (NY: Macmillan, 1988), ISBN 0-02-517410-X
  • Thayer, Charles Wheeler, Bears in the Caviar (NY: Lippincott, 1951)
  • Whitman, Alden, "Energetic Diplomat; William C. Bullitt, First U.S. Envoy to Soviet, Dies", obituary in the New York Times, February 16, 1967

Co-author with Freud

Bullitt was psychoanalyzed by Sigmund Freud in Vienna in the 1920s.The patient and the analyst became such good friends that they decided to write a book together, a psycho-biographical study of Woodrow Wilson. This was quite exceptional, as Freud very rarely co-operated with other authors. The book, first published in Europe in the 1930s did not appear until 1967 in the US. When it did, many psychoanalysts doubted that Freud had had much to do with it, though Freud was in fact an active co-author. The book received an almost unanimously hostile reception. Historian A. J. P. Taylor called it a "disgrace" and asked: "How did anyone ever manage to take Freud seriously?"Peter Gay, Freud for Historians (NY: Oxford University Press, 1985), 93

Freud's view of Wilson was that of a naive American politician whose foreign policy ideas were driven by religious fanaticism. Bullitt had been dismissed by Wilson, late in the battle for the League of Nations, and Bullitt never forgave the slight. It is not clear how much of the book was really written by Bullitt, as he was skilled in several languages, while Freud wrote only in German and had died by the time it was published. Several references attributed to Freud are uniquely American, such as his introduction in which he compared Wilson's naiveté to Christian Science.


  • Foreign policy
    • The Bullitt Mission to Russia (New York: Huebsch, 1919)
    • The Great Globe Itself (New York: Scribner's, 1946)
  • Biography
    • Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study (Boston: Houghton Mifflin 1967), with Sigmund Freud
  • Novel
    • It's Not Done (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1926)
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