Notes on Whitman – As Poet and Person – John Burroughs

The book is divided into two parts. In the first part Burroughs defends Leaves of Grass against academic, conventional-minded critics that objected to Whitman’s very unconventional style and often highly sensual themes. He also commends Whitman as a true lover and interpreter of nature, Burroughs favorite theme. The second, more interesting to the average reader section is a short biography of Whitman. It describes his early childhood life, his  time working in D.C., (including his getting fired from the Treasury Department for the crime of being the  author of Leaves of Grass), and his experience volunteering as a nurse during the Civil War, including several remarkable letters written by Whitman about his experiences. Whitman himself lended a hand in the books writing.