THOMAS WOODROW WILSON: Twenty-Eighth President of the United States--A Psychological Study by
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THOMAS WOODROW WILSON: Twenty-Eighth President of the United States--A Psychological Study

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Former Ambassador to Russia and France and, for a time, a Wilson follower, Bullitt supplied the biographical information for this monumental study of personality and world politics--the Master supplied the analysis. Out of respect for Wilson's second wife, it has been suppressed by Bullitt since 1932; but this text attacks more than marriage or love. Given the late President's overpowering love for his minister father, Freud interprets his life in terms of unresolved Oedipal passions. The Presidential patient, we learn, identified his father with God and his own role as that of God's Only Son. His inability to work out his Oedipal hatreds in a normal fashion caused aberrations throughout his life. But the toll of the complex on his personal life--his feminine traits, his search for a second mother--was hardly as great as the havoc wrought when he entered national politics. He injected psychosis into American life and later the entire Western world. No aspect of Wilson's biography, his family, friends or political appointments, escapes Freud's reading. As happens with great webs from genius spun, much detail falls into place with finality. If critics point out that the patient reclines in the grave rather than upon the couch, one can recall the classic study of Da Vinci. Freud's portrait of the psychotic Wilson, the Prince of Peace, preaching gibberish all across America about the vengeful Treaty of Versailles, is the culmination of an intellectual event of the first order.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1966
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin