Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Wilson on the couch: How Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt, an American diplomat, came to analyze the American president

James L. Franklin
Chicago, Illinois, United States


Thomas Woodrow Wilson. Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress. Via Wikimedia. Public domain.

In December 1966, Houghton Mifflin Company published Thomas Woodrow Wilson: Twenty-Eighth President of the United States, A Psychological Study by Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt. The curious fact that Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and a former American diplomat, William C. Bullitt, who served in both the Wilson and Roosevelt administrations, co-authored such a book is of some historical interest. The place the book holds in the Freud canon remains a matter of controversy. At issue is Freud’s contribution to the book and why he lent his name to such a project. Ever since its release, the book has garnered a veritable firestorm of adverse criticism. More recently, insight into Freud’s contribution has come to light with the transfer of materials held by Bullitt’s daughter, Anne Moën Bullitt (1924–2007), to the library of Yale University (her father’s alma mater). The following will review the genesis of the book, its contents, and examine what motivated the authors to collaborate on this project.


Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A snapshot

An overview of Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study will orient the reader to the material that follows. The book is divided into four sections. A “Foreword by William C. Bullitt” summarizes how they came to work on the project and planned to publish the book. A seven-page “Introduction by Sigmund Freud” seeks to establish the author’s belief that though he has an admitted bias against Woodrow Wilson, the tools of psychoanalysis can be applied objectively in a study of the president’s life. The third section is a “Digest of Data on the Childhood and Youth of Thomas Woodrow Wilson.” It was compiled by Bullitt, who condensed 1,500 pages of interview notes from anonymous sources who had known Wilson and his family. This was done at the behest of Freud, who believed this material was necessary for a psychologic study.

The major section of the book is “A Psychologic Study of Thomas Woodrow Wilson.” It is a biography in thirty-five chapters of the President’s life from his birth in 1856 in Staunton, Virginia and childhood in the American South to his death on February 3, 1924, in Washington, DC. The first chapter sets forth the principles of psychoanalysis, which the authors intend to treat as “axioms” in their psychologic study. Of his relationships to women, the authors concluded that thanks to his sisters, who doted on him, and his sister Anne, who was two years older and “loved him as he loved her,” there was every reason to believe his relations with women would be normal throughout his life. His relationship to his father, the Reverend Joseph Ruggles Wilson, was a different matter. His relationship to his father was that of adoration. They would invariably kiss when greeting each other and Wilson consulted his father on every decision he made well into adulthood. His early education came from the lips of his father, who instilled in Wilson his love of elocution. His father doted on his son and was convinced he was destined for greatness. Reverend Wilson wanted his son to choose the ministry, but in the only instance that he refused to follow his father’s wishes, he chose an academic path as a historian. The authors believe that his passive, or as they phrased it, his “feminine” relationship to his father made it impossible for him to stand up to the strong European leaders of England and France. Reviewing the book, JF Campbell summarizes the basic premise of their psychologic study of Wilson:

Wilson’s resolution of the Oedipus complex caused him to become exceedingly neurotic: he cast his father, a Presbyterian minister, in the role of God and himself as Christ, thus becoming the suffering servant and betrayed savior of mankind. Ultimately, for Freud and Bullitt the Treaty of Versailles as directed by Wilson was an abysmal failure because of his unmitigated and inarbitrable belief in his own divine rightness.  

When the book was finally published in December 1966, Freud been dead for almost three decades. Bullitt was suffering from leukemia and was seriously ill. He died on February 15, 1967 at the age of seventy-one in Neuilly, a suburb of Paris. Bullitt never lived to read the criticism his book evoked.


How Freud and Bullitt first met

The journalist, diplomat, ambassador, and author William Christian Bullitt, Jr. (1891–1967) was better known during the first half of the twentieth century, about when it is fair to state he was both an actor in and witness to the major events of that era.

Bullitt first met Freud in Vienna in 1925. As Bullitt explained to his lifelong Philadelphian friend George Biddle, he first sought help after nearly falling off a horse when his foot slipped from the stirrup. The fact that he was an excellent horseman led him to believe that he had wanted to fall off the horse. He told Biddle that “there was only one man for him to go to see: Freud.” As an undergraduate at Yale, Bullitt had taken a psychology class taught by Roswell Angier, who had studied in Germany and introduced his students to Freudian psychoanalysis. Bullitt was so taken with the subject that he had considered making psychology his primary field of study. According to Biddle’s account, Bullitt simply appeared at Freud’s door in Vienna only to be told the doctor was ill. Unwilling to take no for an answer, he offered his card. With that, Freud appeared and told Bullitt he had known of him and “was interested in his work.” Though he was not taking new patients, he would work with Bullitt if he would make a commitment to a long-standing association.


William C. Bullitt: His life and career

To understand how he came to collaborate with Sigmund Freud, it is necessary to survey some of Bullitt’s life and political career. By 1925, the year he went to Vienna to see Freud, the thirty-four-year-old Bullitt had already held a front row seat in the heady world of international diplomacy as a member of the delegation that accompanied President Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. He also had led a special delegation that year to Russia, meeting with Lenin and members of the fledgling Bolshevik government.

Bullitt, the son of a long-established Philadelphia family, was born into a world of wealth and privilege. His mother, Louisa Gross Horwitz, was the descendant of European Jews who had come to America and converted to Christianity.1 The family had distinguished themselves as physicians and academics. His mother had taken her sons to Europe and stressed European history and language, French and German. His father, William Christian Bullitt, Sr., was of French Huguenot descent and a lawyer whose father had made a fortune in the railroad and coal industries.

Illness delayed Bullitt’s graduation from Yale until 1913, but in the Yale 1912 yearbook he was voted the most “brilliant” and also received votes for the most likely to succeed, hardest worker, and most entertaining. As a young man Bullitt saw himself as a lawyer destined for a career in high office. He enrolled at Harvard Law School briefly but dropped out after his father’s death in March 1914 to pursue a career in journalism and diplomacy. His career began as a reporter at The Public Ledger, Philadelphia’s top newspaper. In 1915, he was assigned to represent the paper during the failed peace mission organized by Henry Ford to end the hostilities in Europe. His coverage elevated his status at The Public Ledger to one of its top reporters.

In 1916 he married the socialite Ernesta Drinker, and they embarked on a honeymoon to Germany and Austria-Hungary. He made good journalistic use of his time, interviewing diplomats and military leaders throughout Central Europe. Following the entry of the United States into the European conflict, he was transferred by his paper to Washington, where he cultivated the friendship of Colonel Edward H. House, one of President Wilson’s closest advisors. Through House’s influence, he secured an appointment as an Assistant Secretary of State. By December 4, 1918, when Wilson sailed for France aboard the George Washington, Bullitt at the age of twenty-seven was a member of the US delegation to negotiate peace. While aboard the George Washington and never one to be intimidated, he boldly approached Wilson one evening before the screening of a film and urged him to make his intended policies clear to the delegation.

Bullitt had carefully followed the events of the Bolshevik Revolution and the writings of John Reed, the author of Ten Days That Shook the World. He urged House to support recognition of the new Bolshevik regime. In February 1918, Secretary of State Lansing dispatched Bullitt to Russia as part of the special mission to negotiate peace between the United States and the Bolshevik government, which included withdrawal of Allied troops from Russia. Bullitt believed he had the backing of David Lloyd George and the White House to deal with the Bolsheviks. In Moscow he met with Lenin and believed the revolutionary leader had accepted the British terms and that he had achieved a major diplomatic breakthrough. When he returned to Paris, he found his efforts were repudiated and denied by Lloyd George. Adding to this, Bullitt was disappointed with the terms of the Versailles Treaty and with Wilson for compromising his principles with the Allied leaders. He was not shy about stating this in a letter of resignation and compounded the matter by testifying before Henry Cabot Lodge’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations against the treaty and the League of Nations. He also revealed Secretary of State Lansing’s confidential view that parts of the treaty were flawed. His testimony infuriated Wilson, who was in the process of taking his plea for ratification of the treaty and the League of Nations directly to the people.

In 1925 when Bullitt first met Freud, his first marriage had ended in divorce. He was now married to Louise Bryant, John Reed’s widow, and this marriage was in trouble. Later Bullitt would try to minimize the extent to which he had been a patient of Freud’s, claiming that his wife was the one under Freud’s care. Those who knew him at the time asserted that Bullitt was in fact the patient. Although he was helped by Freud, it did not save the marriage. Freud’s biographer, Ernest Jones, noted that Bullitt was one of three people permitted to call Freud by his surname as opposed to “Herr Doctor.” The others were HG Wells and Yvette Guilbert, the French singer and actress.2


How and why Bullitt and Freud came to write about Wilson

In 1930 both Freud and Bullitt were in Berlin. Bullitt was doing research on the Treaty of Versailles for a book that would include profiles of Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau, and Lenin. Freud was in Berlin seeking an improvement in the prosthesis (nicknamed the “monster”) he was required to wear following extensive surgical procedures he had undergone in 1923 to cure his oral cancer.3 When Bullitt visited Freud, he found him depressed “because he had written everything he wished to write and his mind was emptied.” Freud asked Bullitt what he was working on, and when learning about his project, “his eyes brightened.” He said he was interested in the chapter on Woodrow Wilson and would be happy to collaborate. Bullitt was taken with the idea of co-authorship with the famous psychoanalyst and realized that this would merit a book in itself.4 The only other occasion that Freud co-authored a book was with Joseph Breuer on Studies in Hysteria in 1895, which had first established his reputation. Freud also knew of Bullitt’s considerable literary talents. His first novel, It’s Not Done, was published in 1925 and sold 150,000 copies. (The first printing of The Great Gatsby, which was published the same year, totaled just 20,000 copies.) Freud also knew they shared a dislike of Woodrow Wilson. Bullitt had shared with Freud a play he had written in the 1920s titled The Tragedy of Woodrow Wilson. While the play was never published or performed, it dramatized Wilson’s failure at the Paris Peace Conference. Freud let Bullitt know he “enjoyed it immensely.”5

Bullitt threw himself into the project and by April 1932, he was able to write his friend Edward House, now former Wilson confidant, that the manuscript was finished and “it could be published if both Freud and I were to die tonight.” Others saw their collaboration differently. Ernest Jones writes that “it was during this stay in Berlin that the American Ambassador, William C. Bullitt, persuaded Freud to cooperate with him in writing a psychoanalytic study of President Wilson.” Peter Gay affirms: “Around 1930, he [Freud] got himself entangled in an embarrassing production—a psychological ‘study’ of Woodrow Wilson.”6

Freud’s interest grew out of his experiences during the First World War. Initially he greeted the unfolding hostilities with a wave of patriotism. Stating “I feel myself like an Austrian,” he hailed the stiff Austrian attitude toward Serbia as courageous. This soon changed as the realities of war began to impact him personally. Before the conflict was over, all three of his sons would serve in the military. His eldest son, Martin, volunteered and served both on the Russian front and the Italian front, where he and his unit were taken prisoners of war. Freud endured several months of uncertainty as to his fate until he was finally released and returned home in August 1919. His second son, Oliver, was initially rejected for military service until 1916 when he served on a variety of engineering projects for the army. Ernst, his youngest son, saw action on the Italian front and was wounded in the thigh in 1918. His son-in-law, Max Halberstadt, his daughter Sophie’s husband, was wounded in France. His sister’s only son, Hermann Graf, was killed in action. During the war, Freud saw few patients, his finances suffered severely, and as the war dragged on, food and fuel became scarce. Even his favorite cigars were no longer available.

A number of explanations have been formulated as to why Freud lent his name to a psychologic study of President Wilson. Woodrow Wilson’s program, the Fourteen Points, outlined to Congress in January 1918, gave new hope to the world. On arriving in Europe, millions greeted and cheered Wilson in France, Italy, and England. On the surface, Wilson’s disappointing failures and compromises during the talks that lead up to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles were the cause of Freud’s negative opinion of Wilson. Freud felt Wilson had meddled in European affairs about which he had little understanding. Freud was uneasy with Wilson’s elevated rhetoric, seeing him as “a self-intoxicated prophet.” “Saviors were never among his favorites,” and he came to “detest” (Freud’s word) Wilson. In 1926, Freud was interviewed by author and American intellectual Max Eastman in Vienna for a book he was writing, Heroes I Have Known. Freud told Eastman: “You should not have gone into the war at all” and “your Woodrow Wilson was the silliest fool of the century if not all centuries.” Another motive Freud had for wanting to work with Bullitt was that royalties from the book might bolster revenue for Verlag, his Viennese-based publishing house for psychoanalytic literature, which was frequently in difficult financial straits. Freud also harbored anti-American sentiments. These dated back to 1909 when he was invited to deliver a series of lectures on psychoanalysis at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Though he received an honorary Doctor of Law degree and was warmly welcomed by the university, which made every effort to give him a favorable introduction to America, in the end Freud came away with a very negative impression that seems to have centered around a lack of “culture” and brazen materialism. This was reinforced by impressions he formed of the many wealthy patients from America who sought his care.


Intermezzo: The book is put on hold

Sigmund Freud, William C. Bullitt, and Marie Bonaparte arriving in Paris. Acme Newspictures, Inc. photo. Everett Collection / Courtesy of Bridgeman Images. Fair use.

In December 1932, Freud wrote to Bullitt that he was “eager to learn about you and our book’s prospects.” A year later, in December 1933, he wrote to Marie Bonaparte that he had received no news from Bullitt and feared their book would “never see the light of day.”7 Bullitt seems to have put a hold on the psychologic study of Wilson because its critical view of a Democratic president might have adversely affected his hopes of playing a role in the new Roosevelt administration. In the summer of 1933, Bullitt learned of the administration’s receptivity to establishing diplomatic relations with Russia. Working through connections he had in the State Department, by November 1933 he was chosen by President Roosevelt to be the first US Ambassador to the newly recognized Soviet Union.8 Bullitt held this position until 1936 when he was transferred to Paris as the US Ambassador to France. Following the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, he played a crucial role in protecting Freud and his family from Nazi aggression and securing their safe passage via France to London. On June 5, 1938, when the Orient Express pulled into Gare de l’Est carrying Freud and his entourage, Ambassador Bullitt was among those present to greet them. Marie Bonaparte had arranged for them to be driven in her chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce and Bentley to her villa in St. Cloud. They were served a luncheon and rested for the night journey across the channel to England. Fatigued as Freud must have been from their overnight train ride from Vienna to Paris, he found time to sit down with Bullitt and review the manuscript of their Wilson project.

By June 18, 1938, Freud was able to write Bullitt from London: “Now that I am sitting here in tranquility, peace and beauty, . . . I feel compelled to thank you once again for the part you had in the liberation of myself and members of my family.” In 1939, according to Bullitt, the two met in London twice. Freud “agreed to delete a long addition he had written” and also approved smaller changes in the text. Bullitt took the signed manuscript back with him to Paris to be retyped. With Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, Freud grimly characterized it as “his last war” and his death followed on the morning of September 23, 1939. Frail and in failing health, coupled with a debt of gratitude to Bullitt, it has been suggested that Freud felt obligated to accept Bullitt’s changes.

Bullitt remained in Paris on June 14, 1940, when the Germans entered the city, angering President Roosevelt who wanted him to follow the French government to Bordeaux. In short, Bullitt’s diplomatic career began to falter. He failed to secure one of several government posts he sought, and refusing the embassy in Australia, settled for Assistant Secretary of the Navy with unspecified duties. Motivated by self-advancement, he sullied himself in a scandalous affair by threatening to “out” the Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles, a trusted deputy of the President. At the suggestion of the President, in 1943 Bullitt ran for Mayor of Philadelphia. Secretly, Roosevelt got his revenge by telling Democratic leaders to “Cut his throat.” By the end of the war, his diplomatic and political careers were over.


The manuscript is finally published

It would not be until 1964 that Bullitt took steps to publish the manuscript. A stated reason for the delay was that he did not want it to appear during the lifetime of Wilson’s widow, Edith Galt Wilson, who died in 1961. In 1964 Bullitt met with Max Schur, who had been Freud’s personal physician, and discussed the Wilson book. Bullitt told him that there was only one copy of the manuscript, and because of the carelessness of a valet, all of the related notes and correspondence with Freud had been burned when he had to leave Paris in a hurry during the war. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Sigmund Freud Archives, Schur told him that they would be vitally interested in all materials related to the project. He also advised Bullitt to send a copy of the manuscript to Miss Anna Freud, who would be willing to help him with psychoanalytic aspects of the book. Although Bullitt did send her the manuscript, Schur notes that he “unfortunately did not see fit to accept help from Miss Freud.”9 Bullitt’s biographers Brownell and Billings suggest that he was also resisting pressure from Ernst Jones, who had been trying to obtain the manuscript. When he approached the publisher Houghton Mifflin of Boston, he presented the signed contracts with Freud dating from 1932 that gave him the exclusive right to select an American publisher and two-thirds of the proceeds.

Word of the publication precipitated a bitter dispute between Bullitt and Freud’s heirs, Anna Freud and his son Ernst in particular. At issue was the actual authorship of the book. Houghton Mifflin became the arbiter of the dispute and assigned their editor Alick Bartholomew to work with the Freuds, as Bullitt refused to deal with them directly. The Freuds believed that while the foreword (written by Bullitt) and the introduction (written by Freud) as well as the historical treatment were excellent, the psychoanalytic material was in need of careful editing. Anna Freud believed that only the introduction truly reflected her father’s style of writing, and publication of the book as it stood would harm her father’s scientific reputation.

Houghton Mifflin remained concerned with the extent of Freud’s participation and in September 1966, had a company executive, Benjamin C. Tilghman, visit Bullitt in Ashfield, Massachusetts. Tilghman discovered that the manuscript was “an amalgam of . . . two sets of corrections.” Review of the text by a scholar of Freud’s works stated that there were terms in the book that differed from terminology he knew of from Freud’s writing. In spite of these difficulties, the book was published in December 1966.

Reviews of the book were not favorable. Serious literary criticism appeared in a pair of articles in the New York Review of Books by the psychologist Erik H. Erickson and historian Richard Hofstadter under the title “The Strange Case of Freud, Bullitt, and Woodrow Wilson, Part I and II.”10 Reviewing the content of the book in some detail, Erikson concluded that “for me and others it is easy to see that Freud could have ‘written’ almost nothing of what is now in print.” The controversy continued until 2006 with the publication of “Freud and Bullitt: An Unknown Manuscript”11 by Mark Solms. Solms reviewed the contents of “a bundle of original documents relating to the collaboration” among papers deposited by Bullitt’s daughter Anne at the library of Yale University. They included twenty-two items both in German and English revealing the extent of their collaborative activities. Significantly, there was a manuscript written in German by Freud in 1932 laying out the principal tenets of psychoanalytic theory related to personality development. Much of the material was used by Bullitt in the first chapter of Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study. Bullitt, however, omitted material dealing with a view of Christianity, castration anxiety, and latent homosexuality. This was done either in an attempt to simplify the presentation or because he did not share Freud’s beliefs. Solms believes these documents establish that Freud was not a mere passive participant as suggested by Anna Freud, but a full-fledged collaborator.12


“Freud and Bullitt on the Couch”

As a study of psychobiography, Freud was quite clear that their analysis of Wilson could not be characterized as a psychoanalytic work as the subject was not available for intimate analysis. The title of this paper, “Wilson on the Couch,” is of course a facetious construct. But as Ronald Steel observed: “Full of spite and a venomous energy, the book puts both subjects—Wilson and Bullitt—under a merciless light.” We have examined what motivated Freud to collaborate in a study of Woodrow Wilson. There are other circumstances—dare we say “Freudian”—that might have been operative.

Both Freud and Wilson were born in the same year, 1856, the type of coincidence that regularly caught the psychoanalyst’s attention. Wilson’s father loved his firstborn son “Tommy” passionately and believed he was destined for greatness. When Freud’s mother, Amalia, gave birth to her first child, Sigmund, “He was born with a caul,13 an event which was believed to ensure him happiness and fame.” His mother would live to the age of ninety-seven, always favoring her first child and calling him “mein goldener Sigi.” As a young man still in school, Sigmund Freud had entertained a career as a lawyer and statesman. Woodrow Wilson’s younger brother Joseph was ten years his junior, and young Tommy tried to adopt the same role with his brother that as a child he had with his father. As an adult, Woodrow Wilson formed a similar bond with his close aid, Colonel Edward M. House. His feelings turned to anger when he came to suspect House of betrayal during the Paris Peace Conference. Freud similarly formed intense bonds with younger acolytes whom he would later come to regard as enemies when they deviated from his beliefs. Most notably, this was seen in his relationship with Carl Gustav Jung.

William C. Bullitt’s complex personality would take many words to fully characterize. He was a man of enormous abilities, but also self-destructive impulses that destroyed his career and left him deeply embittered. This conduct can be seen in his resignation from the Wilson administration and testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee against the Versailles Treaty. It was also evident during the Roosevelt era, when he attempted to further his career in the scandalous Sumner Welles affair. Throughout the text of Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the president is repeatedly referred to as “little Tommy Wilson.” Critics have frequently cited this as mean-spirited and lacking in empathy. After enduring months of stress leading up to April 2, 1917, when Wilson asked Congress to approve a declaration of war against Germany, at the cabinet meeting that followed, the President, “laying his head on the Cabinet table sobbed as if he had been a child.” Bullitt writes, “Little Tommy Wilson still needed the tender sympathy and approval of his incomparable father.”14 Little wonder that Will Brownell and Richard N. Billings in their biography of Bullitt, So Close to Greatness, title the section on the publication of Thomas Woodrow Wilson “A Final Vendetta.”


Some final thoughts

It is over one hundred years since the Wilson presidency ended in 1920. During the intervening time, the president’s reputation has cyclically declined and risen and more recently declined again with an acknowledgement of the racial prejudices he held. Much serious scholarship has been devoted to an understanding of his presidency, leading to an appreciation of the challenges he faced and the approach he sought for world peace. There is much to be said on both sides of the ledger. His unwillingness to compromise with members of Congress doomed the Charter of the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles to rejection. His conduct during the second term of his presidency was complicated by progressive symptoms of cerebrovascular disease, culminating in a massive stroke with permanent left hemiplegia (left sided paralysis). In 1981, Edwin A. Weinstein, Emeritus Professor of Neurology at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, published an in-depth study, Woodrow Wilson: A Medical and Psychological Biography, which provides us with a balanced assessment of Wilson’s emotional and physical health.15


End notes

  1. Among the illustrious members of this family is the famed surgeon Samuel David Gross (1805–1884), immortalized by Thomas Eakins’s 1875 painting The Gross Clinic.
  2. Ernest Jones, MD, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, Volume 3 The Last Phase 1919-1939, Basic Books, New York, 1957.
  3. For a discussion of Freud’s oral cancer see: James L. Franklin, “’My dear neoplasm’: Sigmund Freud’s oral cancer”, Hektoen International, https://hekint.org/2022/10/28/my-dear-neoplasm-sigmund-freuds-oral-cancer/.
  4. Will Brownell & Richard N. Billings, So Close to Greatness: A Biography of William C. Bullitt, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1987, p. 119.
  5. Alexander Etkind, Roads Not Taken: An Intellectual Biography of William C. Bullitt, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017, p. 31-32. (This reference contains a synopsis of both the novel It’s Not Done and the play The Tragedy of Woodrow Wilson.)
  6. Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time, W. W. Norton & Company, 1988, p. 223.
  7. Paul Roazen, “Oedipus at Versailles,” Times Literary Supplement, April 22, 2005.
  8. As the first U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Bullitt distinguished himself for the lavish parties he held at the US Embassy. He cultivated a friendship with the Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov, who immortalized these events in his great novel The Master and Margarita in the chapter “Satan’s Grand Ball.”
  9. Max Schur, MD, Freud: Living and Dying, International Press, Inc. 1972. p. 496, Fn. 1.
  10. “The Strange Case of Freud, Bullitt, and Woodrow Wilson: I,” Erik H. Erikson, New York Review of Books, February 9, 1967 and “The Strange Case: II,” Richard Hofstader, New York Review of Books, February 9, 1967.
  11. Mark Solms, “Freud and Bullitt: An Unknown Manuscript,” Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 54: 1263-98, 2006.
  12. JF Campbell, “’To Bury Freud on Wilson’: Uncovering Thomas Woodrow Wilson, A Psychologic Study by Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt,” Modern Austrian Literature, 41, No. 2, 41-56, 2008.
  13. A caul or cowl is a membrane that is part of the amniotic sac and covers the head and face. Such a birth is rare, occurring in approximately one in 80,000 births.
  14. Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychologic Study, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1967. p. 196.
  15. Edwin A. Weinstein, Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Biography, Princeton University Press, 1981.



JAMES L. FRANKLIN, M.D., is a gastroenterologist and associate professor emeritus at Rush University Medical Center. He also serves on the editorial board of Hektoen International and as the president of Hektoen’s Society of Medical History & Humanities.


Fall 2022  |  Sections  |  Psychiatry & Psychology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.