Now the drum of war : Walt Whitman and his brothers in the Civil War / Robert Roper.

Drawing on the searing letters that Walt, George, their mother Louisa, and their other brothers, wrote to each other during the Civil War, and on new evidence and new readings of the great poet, Now the Drum of War chronicles the experience of the Whitman family--from rural Long Island to working-cl...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Roper, Robert, 1946-
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: New York : Walker & Co., 2008.
Edition:1st U.S. ed.
Subjects:
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In his astonishing frankness and sweep, Walt Whitman is the quintessential visionary American poet. His life spanned the beginnings of modern urbanization, the rupture of the Civil War and almost into the 20th century. In keeping with this larger-than-life figure, Roper (Fatal Mountaineer) skillfully weaves several books into one. Framed as an insightful literary critique, especially of Whitman's coded writings, as well as a biographical chronicle of his remarkable and dysfunctional family, the book is also a historical examination of Civil War battlefield traumas and tragedies, principally as the poet experienced them. At the center of the book, Roper focuses on Whitman's emotional relations with the young wounded soldiers he nursed, showing in effect that these homoerotic bonds can be seen as the semipaternal manifestation of his relationships with his much younger brothers, George Washington Whitman--with whom he was closest, and who had a distinguished war record--and Thomas Jefferson Whitman. The "brothers" of the subtitle refer not only to George and Jeff, but to the poet's many comrades. 35 b&w illus. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved