HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Better Angel: Walt Whitman in the Civil…
Loading...

The Better Angel: Walt Whitman in the Civil War

by Roy Morris, Jr.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1081168,704 (4.33)3

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

One of the best books I've ever read. "The Better Angel: Walt Whitman in the Civil War" is a biography of the poet/writer, with special emphasis on the years 1861 to 1865, during which he visited and championed wounded soldiers in military hospitals. It's also a commentary and history of the Civil War, life in Washington D.C., and the life and death of Abraham Lincoln. Excerpts of Whitman's poetry appear in the context of when and where it was written, as well as the circumstances of why he was moved to write it. Endnotes, Bibliography, and Indexed. Very highly recommended. ( )
  y2pk | Mar 5, 2011 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
"The people who like the wars should be compelled to fight the wars." (page 119)
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195124820, Hardcover)

On May 26, 1863, Walt Whitman wrote to his mother: "O the sad, sad things I see--the noble young men with legs and arms taken off--the deaths--the sick weakness, sicker than death, that some endure, after amputations...just flickering alive, and O so deathly weak and sick." For nearly three years, Whitman immersed himself in the devastation of the Civil War, tending to thousands of wounded soldiers and recording his experience with an immediacy and compassion unequaled in wartime literature anywhere in the world.
In The Better Angel, acclaimed biographer Roy Morris, Jr. gives us the fullest accounting of Whitman's profoundly transformative Civil War Years and an historically invaluable examination of the Union's treatment of its sick and wounded. Whitman was mired in depression as the war began, subsisting on journalistic hackwork, wasting his nights in New York's seedy bohemian underground, his "great career" as a poet apparently stalled. But when news came that his brother George had been wounded at Fredericksburg, Whitman rushed south to find him. Though his brother's injury was slight, Whitman was deeply affected by his first view of the war's casualties. He began visiting the camp's wounded and, almost by accident, found his calling for the duration of the war. Three years later, he emerged as the war's "most unlikely hero," a living symbol of American democratic ideals of sharing and brotherhood.
Instead of returning to Brooklyn as planned, Whitman continued to visit the wounded soldiers in the hospitals in and around the capital. He brought them ice cream, tobacco, brandy, books, magazines, pens and paper, wrote letters for those who were not able and offered to all the enormous healing influence of his sympathy and affection. Indeed, several soldiers claimed that Whitman had saved their lives. One noted that Whitman "seemed to have what everybody wanted" and added "When this old heathen came and gave me a pipe and tobacco, it was about the most joyful moment of my life." Another wrote that "There is many a soldier that never thinks of you but with emotions of the greatest gratitude." But if Whitman gave much to the soldiers, they in turn gave much to him. In witnessing their stoic suffering, in listening to their understated speech, and in being always in the presence of death, Whitman evolved the new and more direct poetic style that was to culminate in his masterpiece, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd."
Brilliantly researched and beautifully written, The Better Angel explores a side of Whitman not fully examined before, one that greatly enriches our understanding of his later poetry. More than that, it gives us a vivid and unforgettable portrait of the "other army"--the legions of sick and wounded soldiers who are usually left in the shadowy background of Civil War history--seen here through the unflinching eyes of America's greatest poet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Of the Civil War's many stories of heroism, few are so unlikely, or so moving, as that of Walt Whitman. For nearly three years, Whitman tended to legions of sick and wounded soldiers, immersing himself in the devastation of the war and recording his experience with an immediacy and compassion unequaled in wartime literature anywhere in the world." "In The Better Angel, acclaimed biographer Roy Morris, Jr. gives us the fullest account yet published of Whitman's Civil War years, which transformed him both as a poet and as a person. As the war began, Whitman was mired in depression, subsisting on journalistic hackwork and wasting his nights in New York's seedy bohemian underground. But when the news came that his brother George had been wounded at Fredricksburg, Whitman rushed south to find him. Though his brother's injury was slight, the poet was deeply affected by his first view of the war's casualties. He began visiting the camp's wounded and, almost by accident, found his calling for the duration of the war." "The wounded, he wrote, 'opened a new world for me... bursting the petty bonds of art.' He visited them daily, bringing gifts of ice cream, tobacco, or books; wrote letters for them; and offered to all the healing influence of his sympathy and affection. Indeed, several soldiers later said that Whitman had saved their lives. But if Whitman gave much to the soldiers, they in turn gave much to him. In witnessing their stoic suffering, in listening to their understated speech, and in being always in the presence of death, Whitman evolved the new and more direct poetic style that culminated in his masterpiece, 'When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd.'"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.33)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 1
3.5 1
4 1
4.5 1
5 7

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 136,463,313 books! | Top bar: Always visible