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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.174) Chapter Five Campaigns
Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity

David Haven Blake

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the subject of campaigns or the organization of publicity around a particular topic, issue, or theme. It discusses Whitman's decision to turn away from the powerful confidence in celebrity that he had expressed in the 1850s and his description of himself as the most neglected poet of the U.S. in the 1870s. It also suggests that this extended promotional strategy is related to two other campaigns from Whitman's career, particularly his rivalry with the presidency during the antebellum era and his deployment of the jeremiad as a means of holding the nation responsible for his lack of popularity.

Keywords:   Walt Whitman, campaigns, publicity, celebrity, neglected poet, U.S., promotional strategy, jeremiad

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