During the war years, as U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, gaunt, shy John Gilbert Winant lived a hard and nerve-racking life. He came home, after his resignation in March 1946, to accept another hard job for his country—permanent U.S. representative on UNESCO. But last December he asked President Harry Truman to relieve him of his duties. He wanted to "pick up life again as a private citizen in my own country."

It had been a long time since he had been a private citizen. Gil Winant, a rich man's son,...

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