Clarence Streit

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Person.png Clarence Streit  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(journalist, deep state operative)
Clarence Streit.png
BornJanuary 21, 1896
DiedJuly 6, 1986 (Age 90)
Washington D.C.
Alma materUniversity of Montana, Sorbonne, Oxford University
Member ofRhodes Scholar/1918
Interest ofTheodor Max van der Beugel
Played a prominent role in the Atlanticist and world federalist movements

Employment.png Reporter

In office
1921 - 1939
EmployerNew York Times

Clarence Kirschman Streit was an American journalist who played a prominent role in the Atlanticist and world federalist movements.[1][2]

Life and career

Streit was born in California, Missouri, the son of Emma (Kirschman) and Louis Leland Streit. Of Palatine German origin, he moved with his family to Missoula, Montana, in 1911. In Missoula, he founded the Konah, a high school paper that is now one of the oldest in the United States in continuous publication.[3] While a student at Montana State University (now the University of Montana), he volunteered for military service during World War I, serving in an Intelligence unit in France and assisting the American delegation at the Conference of Versailles. He was a Rhodes scholar at University of Oxford in 1920. He married Jeanne Defrance in Paris in 1921, after which he became a foreign correspondent for The New York Times.

In 1929, he was assigned to cover the League of Nations in Switzerland, where he witnessed the League's slow disintegration and collapse. That experience, coupled with the rise of totalitarian regimes in Europe, convinced him that mankind's best hope was a federal union of democracies, modeled on American federalism. This led him to write Union Now, a book advocating the political integration of the democracies of Western Europe (including their colonies) and the other English-speaking countries at that time (the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa). The book was published in 1939, on the eve of World War II.[4] It had sold over 300,000 copies by 1972.[5]

In the aftermath of the book's publication, Streit founded Federal Union, Inc. (later renamed the Association to Unite the Democracies) to promote his vision. Seeking what he described as "a man of national stature" to lend credence to his efforts, he was able to secure the support of Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts, who would be a friend and collaborator in subsequent years.[6] In 1949, Streit joined the board of the Roberts-chaired Atlantic Union Committee, which sought to pressure Congress to pursue a federation of democratic states.[7]

The Streit Council, a successor organization to the Association to Unite the Democracies, was named after him.

Personal life

He was married to Jeanne Defrance of Lille, France, niece of French jurist Fernand Payen, known for defending Marechal Petain in his trial for treason. They met at a bus stop at the Place de l'Opéra in 1920.[8] His daughter, Jeanette Streit (1924-2012), married Felix Rohatyn in 1956; they divorced in 1979.[8]


"A note on the relation of privilege and monopoly to war."


  1. Imlay, Talbot (2020). "Clarence Streit, Federalist Frameworks, and Wartime American Internationalism." Diplomatic History, vol. 44, no. 5. pp. 808–833.
  3. Guide to the Clarence Streit Papers at the University of Montana
  4. 'Elijah *from Missoula', Time, Mar. 27, 1950.
  5. Kuehl, Warren F., and Dunn, Lynne K. (1997). Keeping the Covenant: American Internationalists and the League of Nations, 1920-1939, pp. 102-03. Kent State University Press. ISBN 0-87338-566-7.
  7. "Atlantic Union Committee Formed!" (PDF). Freedom & Union. Federal Union, Inc. April 1949. Retrieved June 5, 2016
  8. a b New York Times obituary on "JEANNETTE S. ROHATYN Obituary" April 29, 2012
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