“In Solitude I Brood On War”: Bertrand Russell’s 1939 American Lecture Tour

  • Michael D. Stevenson Lakehead University


An important American lecture tour undertaken by Bertrand Russell in April 1939 has been largely ignored because of the long-standing embargo on tour letters sent by Russell to his third wife, Patricia. Taking advantage of the embargo’s recent expiry, this paper provides annotated transcriptions of twenty-four letters sent by Russell to Patricia and others during the tour and analyzes topics such as his family relationships and interactions with a wide array of individuals. Most importantly, Russell’s tour letters demonstrate his evolving viewpoint on pacifism and his evaluation of the tense international situation as World War II approached.