Dougherty, James. Walt Whitman and the Citizen's Eye [review]

M. Jimmie Killingsworth
1994 Walt Whitman quarterly review  
REVIEWS JAMES DOUGHERTY. Walt Whitman and the Citizen's Eye. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993. xxiv, 326 pp. $32.50. James Dougherty's scholarly and well-written book on Whitman's special rendering of the visual and urban experience of the modern, democratic poet gives us some fine new readings of poems and groups of poems -notably "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" and Drum-Taps-as well as a distinctive view of the stages of Whitman's career keyed to different ways of seeing the
more » ... of seeing the world and understanding the self in the world. It is a unique blend of philosophical, psychological, and historical criticism, distinguished by Dougherty's admirable ability always to add something to the poems he reads and to resist reducing them to his own critical schemes. The humility and decorum implicit in these readings are also evident in his plentiful and generous citations of other studies of Whitman. In extending the historicist tradition of recent criticism (as represented by writers like
doi:10.13008/2153-3695.1422 fatcat:lcsyyq5jm5abdlikmrbi5gcyfa