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Whitman's success is most likely the result of the approachability--he wrote often of the immediate: the sounds of the city, men bathing in the river, the mystery around the next corner--and sheer beauty of his poems. He was also an expert self-promoter. Long before the advent of the blurb in contemporary publishing, Whitman would include reviews of his books in the appendices. Many of these were actually written by him and a few were even critical, in order to maintain a sense of objectivity. He carefully controlled his public image, but assiduously guarded his private realm, which is why, more than a century after the poet's death, debate still rages about his sexual proclivity--there simply isn't enough proof one way or another. The Song of Himself, the first comprehensive biography of Whitman in 20 years, is rich with details of its subject's life and times and cogent analysis of his poetry--a book that is sure to increase readers' understanding of the great poet and reinvigorate their interest in his work. --Anna Baldwin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Simply, this is the worst biography I have read in a long time. It is boring, it drags and, even though it is a work of non-fiction, it could have been more creatively written. Read morePublished on November 7, 2011 by Pepper
The poet died in 1892. In life he became notorious and a positive influence on the reformers of the day. Read morePublished on July 31, 2003 by Mary E. Sibley