Whitman in Washington: Becoming the National Poet in the Federal City. By Kenneth M. Price. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. 2020. xxii, 191 pp. Cloth, $29.95; e-book available.

Attending to understudied aspects of Whitman’s “mid-career” life, bureaucratic employment, and diverse writings, this study considers how both the poet and his Washington, DC, home were remade by the turbulence of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Price draws on several digitally available archives he helped create while also incorporating “newly available” letters, journalism, and miscellaneous documents that he identified as “being in the hand of Whitman.” Moving chronologically with chapters organized by key terms, this analysis of Whitman as part government clerk, part visionary scribe is particularly attuned to race and citizenship, topics that often tell most through Whitman’s omissions, prevarications, and complicit compromises.

Yankee Yarns: Storytelling and the Invention of the National Body in Nineteenth-Century American Culture. By Stefanie...

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