Against the Grain

Walt Whitman on how to resuscitate democracy

Democracy today is in a sorry state. Can Walt Whitman help us resuscitate it? John Marsh thinks so; he reveals how the thousands of visits Whitman paid to sick and wounded soldiers in Civil War army hospitals restored the poet’s faith in ordinary people’s ability to fashion a robust democracy. Marsh also shows how Whitman modeled an ethics of comradeship and affection in his poetry.

For more details and higher-quality audio, visit againstthegrain.org.

  • Estrafalario

    Well, this was fascinating. Thanks for the enjoyable conversation. Whitman’s contributions to American Democratic theory needs so much more dissemination. Also, a reminder of the missing element of poetic vision in our contemporary political landscape — so many contemporary poets are writing work engaging with the current times, with so little attention in the media.

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