Prose pamphlet by Whitman, published in 1871, incorporating earlier essays. It was reprinted in Two Rivulets (1876).
The main themes are the ideals of democracy and individualism, which the author does not consider to be incompatible, and he outlines a new cultural order for the U.S. He condemns the degradation of democracy and the growth of cankerous wealth during the post-Civil War period, prophesies a future greatness, and announces that there must be a declaration of cultural independence to achieve a truly national indigenous literature.
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Walt Whitman (1819—1892) American poet