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Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington

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Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It was more than coincidence—indeed, it was all but fate—that the lives and thoughts of Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman should converge during the terrible years of the Civil War. Kindred spirits despite their profound differences in position and circumstance, Lincoln and Whitman shared a vision of the democratic character that sprang from the deepest part of their being. They had read or listened to each other’s words at crucial turning points in their lives. Both were utterly transformed by the tragedy of the war. In this radiant book, poet and biographer Daniel Mark Epstein tracks the parallel lives of these two titans from the day that Lincoln first read Leaves of Grass to the elegy Whitman composed after Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.

Drawing on the rich trove of personal and newspaper accounts, diary records, and lore that has accumulated around both the president and the poet, Epstein structures his double portrait in a series of dramatic, atmospheric scenes. Whitman, though initially skeptical of the Illinois Republican, became enthralled when Lincoln stopped in New York on the way to his first inauguration. During the war years, after Whitman moved to Washington to minister to wounded soldiers, the poet’s devotion to the president developed into a passion bordering on obsession. “Lincoln is particularly my man, and by the same token, I am Lincoln’s man.”

As Epstein shows, the influence and reverence flowed both ways. Lincoln had been deeply immersed in Whitman’s verse when he wrote his incendiary “House Divided” speech, and Whitman remained an influence during the darkest years of the war. But their mutual impact went beyond the intellectual. Epstein brings to life the many friends and contacts his heroes shared—Lincoln’s debonair private secretary John Hay, the fiery abolitionist senator Charles Sumner, the mysterious and possibly dangerous Polish Count Gurowski—as he unfolds the story of their legendary encounters in New York City and especially Washington during the war years.

Blending history, biography, and a deeply informed appreciation of Whitman’s verse and Lincoln’s rhetoric, Epstein has written a masterful and original portrait of two great men and the era they shaped through the vision they held in common.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Discusses how the lives and thoughts of president Abraham Lincoln and poet Walt Whitman converged during and after the American Civil War, noting how each turned to the other's works for inspiration, and describing how Whitman wrote Lincoln's elegy after his assassination. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

Daniel Mark Epstein is the author of highly acclaimed biographies of Aimee Semple McPherson, Nat King Cole, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, as well as seven volumes of poetry. His verse has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review, among other national publications. Epstein lives in Baltimore.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307431400
Subtitle:
Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Author:
Daniel Mark Epstein
Author:
Epstein, Daniel Mark
Subject:
History : United States - Civil War
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Literary
Subject:
United States - Civil War
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Poets, American
Subject:
Whitman, Walt
Subject:
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Subject:
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Subject:
US History-1800 to Civil War
Subject:
US History-1860 to 1920
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20050111
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
400

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington
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$ In Stock
Product details 400 pages Random House Publishing Group - English 9780307431400 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Discusses how the lives and thoughts of president Abraham Lincoln and poet Walt Whitman converged during and after the American Civil War, noting how each turned to the other's works for inspiration, and describing how Whitman wrote Lincoln's elegy after his assassination. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , Daniel Mark Epstein is the author of highly acclaimed biographies of Aimee Semple McPherson, Nat King Cole, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, as well as seven volumes of poetry. His verse has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review, among other national publications. Epstein lives in Baltimore.

From the Hardcover edition.

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