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Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity$
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David Blake

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300110173

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300110173.001.0001

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(p.21) Chapter One Celebrity
Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity

David Haven Blake

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the history of antebellum celebrity in the U.S. It traces its roots in the early Republic, its flowering during the Jacksonian age, and its significance to a range of American authors including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Edgar Allan Poe. It explains that these authors did not share Walt Whitman's enthusiasm for the crowd and were concerned that fame would destabilize traditional concepts of value and identity.

Keywords:   antebellum celebrity, U.S., Jacksonian age, American authors, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, fame, identity

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