Was America's greatest poet, Walt Whitman, a racist or, to the contrary, a progressive on race? How did he respond to an America that was even more divided than the nation is today? David S. Reynolds addresses these vital issues in his lecture "Walt Whitman, Race, and American Politics."
David S. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and U. S. History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography, winner of the the Bancroft Prize, the Ambassador Book Award, and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His facsimile edition of the Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass was the “big clue” on the hit TV series Breaking Bad. His other books include A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman, Lincoln’s Selected Writings: A Norton Critical Edition, Mightier than the Sword: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and the Battle for America, Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson, Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville (winner of the Christian Gauss Award), and John Brown, Abolitionist (winner of the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award). Professor Reynolds is a regular book reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Review of Books. His articles have appeared in the daily New York Times, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Wilson Quarterly, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been interviewed on T.V. or radio more than 100 times, having appeared on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “The Diane Rehm Show,” CSPAN’s Book TV, “Book Notes with Brian Lamb,” among others. David Reynolds earned the B.A. at Amherst College and the Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now at work on a cultural biography of Abraham Lincoln.
Please register here to attend. There is no cost to register.
Special thanks to the Waterman II Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation who, following a recommendation of David Haas, has provided support for Whitman at 200 poetry events, including this one.