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The Better Angel: Walt Whitman in the Civil War by Roy Morris PDF

By Roy Morris

ISBN-10: 0195124820

ISBN-13: 9780195124828

ISBN-10: 019802889X

ISBN-13: 9780198028895

ISBN-10: 142376076X

ISBN-13: 9781423760764

On may possibly 26, 1863, Walt Whitman wrote to his mom: "O the unhappy, unhappy issues I see--the noble younger males with arms and legs taken off--the deaths--the in poor health weak point, sicker than demise, that a few suffer, after amputations...just flickering alive, and O so deathly vulnerable and sick." for almost 3 years, Whitman immersed himself within the devastation of the Civil conflict, tending to hundreds of thousands of wounded squaddies and recording his event with an immediacy and compassion unequaled in wartime literature at any place on the earth. within the larger Angel, acclaimed biographer Roy Morris, Jr. offers us the fullest accounting of Whitman's profoundly transformative Civil battle Years and an traditionally important exam of the Union's therapy of its in poor health and wounded. Whitman was once mired in melancholy because the warfare begun, subsisting on journalistic hackwork, losing his nights in New York's seedy bohemian underground, his "great occupation" as a poet it sounds as if stalled. but if information got here that his brother George have been wounded at Fredericksburg, Whitman rushed south to discover him. notwithstanding his brother's damage was once moderate, Whitman was once deeply plagued by his first view of the war's casualties. He all started vacationing the camp's wounded and, virtually accidentally, stumbled on his calling at some stage in the struggle. 3 years later, he emerged because the war's "most not likely hero," a dwelling image of yank democratic beliefs of sharing and brotherhood. rather than returning to Brooklyn as deliberate, Whitman persevered to go to the wounded squaddies within the hospitals in and round the capital. He introduced them ice cream, tobacco, brandy, books, magazines, pens and paper, wrote letters should you weren't capable and provided to all of the huge, immense therapeutic impact of his sympathy and affection. certainly, a number of squaddies claimed that Whitman had kept their lives. One famous that Whitman "seemed to have what every body sought after" and further "When this outdated heathen got here and gave me a pipe and tobacco, it used to be concerning the so much cheerful second of my life." one other wrote that "There is many a soldier that by no means thinks of you yet with feelings of the best gratitude." but when Whitman gave a lot to the warriors, they in flip gave a lot to him. In witnessing their stoic soreness, in hearing their understated speech, and in being continually within the presence of demise, Whitman advanced the hot and extra direct poetic kind that was once to culminate in his masterpiece, "When Lilacs final within the Dooryard Bloom'd." Brilliantly researched and fantastically written, the higher Angel explores a facet of Whitman now not absolutely tested earlier than, one who tremendously enriches our figuring out of his later poetry. greater than that, it offers us a shiny and unforgettable portrait of the "other army"--the legions of unwell and wounded infantrymen who're often left within the shadowy heritage of Civil conflict history--seen the following during the unflinching eyes of America's maximum poet.

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Download e-book for kindle: The Better Angel: Walt Whitman in the Civil War by Roy Morris

On might 26, 1863, Walt Whitman wrote to his mom: "O the unhappy, unhappy issues I see--the noble younger males with arms and legs taken off--the deaths--the ailing weak spot, sicker than demise, that a few suffer, after amputations. .. simply flickering alive, and O so deathly vulnerable and ill. " for almost 3 years, Whitman immersed himself within the devastation of the Civil warfare, tending to millions of wounded squaddies and recording his adventure with an immediacy and compassion unequaled in wartime literature anyplace on the earth.

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"The writer of the immortal Lolita and faded fireplace, born to an eminent Russian family members, conjures the apotheosis of the excessive modernist artist: cultured, refined-as eu as they arrive. yet Vladimir Nabokov, who got here to the United States fleeing the Nazis, got here to think about his time the following because the richest of his existence.

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61 D 47 E chapter two O A Sight in Camp etermined to find his brother—dead or alive—Whitman plunged headlong into the maelstrom of war. In the confused aftermath of Fredericksburg, thousands of similarly frantic relatives had embarked for the front, thronging railroad stations and riverboat docks from Maine to Wisconsin. ’’ He crowded aboard a ferry to Manhattan, took a second across the Hudson River to New Jersey, and caught the night train to Philadelphia. Pressing his way through a mob of fellow travelers, he had his pocket picked while changing trains, and he arrived in Washington without a penny to his name.

An arm’d race is advancing! the welcome for battle, no turning away; War! —the terrible consequences of the rush to war. 57 Now when he went to the Broadway Hospital, it was filled with sick soldiers from the volunteer regiments passing through the city on their way to the front—the hospital received seventyfive cents a day for each soldier it treated. ’’ Touched, he began spending his Sundays with the soldiers, twothirds of whom suVered from measles, which in the first months of the war was both epidemic and deadly to the thousands of country-bred young men who had left home for the first time.

He observed gallbladder surgery on a young fireman named James Kelly. ‘‘The patient was thoroughly chloroformed, and the operation, as near as I could judge, was admirably put through. The calculus (stone) extracted at last by Dr. ’’ The woman ‘‘was etherized; the jaw was then pressed in a proper manner, and put back in its connections, almost in an instant. ’’ Not everyone shared Whitman’s strong stomach. 45 Occasionally, Whitman brought the oV-duty doctors to PfaV’s for late-afternoon sandwiches and beer.

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The Better Angel: Walt Whitman in the Civil War by Roy Morris


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