Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Walt Whitman and the American Reader by Ezra Greenspan


Walt Whitman and the American Reader by Ezra Greenspan

In Walt Whitman and the American Reader, Ezra Greenspan casts Whitman as the central actor on the stage of nineteenth-century American literary culture - a culture redefining its democratic identity. Against the context of the major changes revolutionising the professions of printer, publisher, bookseller and author, he examines the connection between the bookmaking culture of mid-century and Leaves of Grass, and between the conditions for authorship and Whitman's career. The result is a far-ranging study of Whitman as a model of the nineteenth-century American writer writing for - and sometimes reacting against - the newly enfranchised, expanded reading public of his time.


Greenspan retraces Whitman's early life along tightly professional lines, stressing his activities as printer, journalist, editor, and popular author. He then provides illuminating commentary on the first three editions of Leaves of Grass in terms of Whitman's shifting attitudes toward the popular readership...a good number of the links he draws between Whitman and his culture are quite original and perceptive.

ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance Ezra Greenspan has brought together an abundance of information that he puts to good use in constructing a context for the emergence of Whitman from journeyman printer to journalist to poet....This is a fresh and comprehensive study.

Paul Kane, Journal of American History

About the Author

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

30th April 2009


Ezra Greenspan

More books by Ezra Greenspan
Author 'Like for Like'


Cambridge University Press


284 pages


Literary studies: poetry & poets
Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900



I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta

It's information about new books so, for a book lover like me, what's not to like!

Joan Hill

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

I 'Lovereading' because it lets me see what new books are around with a detailed synopsis and readers' reviews.

Judith Sharp

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

It's a lively, independent website with reviews, recommendations and more - with a huge range of books available to buy in all formats.

Alison Layland

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore