Revised lives: Walt Whitman and nineteenth-century authorship

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Revised Lives examines self-representation in U.S. culture from the American Revolution through the nineteenth century. Drawing on studies of the history of the book, Pierre Bourdieu's sociology, and ethnic and gender revisionism, this book focuses on the processes of national development, the self-construction of authorial personae, and the appropriation of the personae by interpretive communities. Special emphasis is given to Walt Whitman, but other figures are treated at length: P. T. Barnum, Edward Carpenter, Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Franklin, and Edgar Allan Poe. This study contributes to the understanding of selfhood in nineteenth-century American culture, the development of autobiography as a genre, and the dynamics of literary reception.