In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

130 Shorter Book Reviews Garrisonian non-resistant thought is an intriguing hypothesis that needs further study. A more profound consideration of the origins of women's peace activism and especially of the non-resistant theme will doubtless have to pay close attention to religious values,notably Quaker thought. As Alonso demonstrates in her history of the WPU, its leaders, none of whom were Friends, nonetheless identified "the Quaker principle of peace" as compatible with their own beliefs. They recognized Quakers Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony as two of their non-resister foremothers, though it was Mott who made the peace testimony a prime one in her life, not Anthony. When we return to a consideration of the beginnings of women's non-resistant peace work in the United States, we need to underscore, in particular, Mott's contributions. In summary, The Women's Peace Union makes a significant and timely contribution to peace and women's history. Alonso's study breaks new ground and asks new questions. This eminently readable book is enhanced with archival photos of key WPU members and useful appendices (lists of inter-War peace organizations, WPU amendment resolutions, and participants at the three hearings on the amendment). It will be appreciated by undergraduate instructors who are keen to introduce students to accessiblemonographs in new or barely-explored fields. Frances H. Early Departments of History & Women's Studies Mount Saint Vincent University Kenneth M. Price. Whitman and Tradition: The Poet in His Century. New Haven: Yale UniversityPress, 1990. xii + 179pp. What Kenneth M. Price calls the "deeper genius" of Walt Whitman's poetry has eluded decades of imitators (139). Neither exclamatory self-confidence nor chains of sensuous imagery have been enough to match the bard's original prosody. One chapter of Whitman and Tradition examines the mediocre work of Bay Lodge and William Vaughn Moody, two of the socalled Harvard poets whose unintentionally parodic verse was less important, accordingto Price, than their astute appreciation of Whitman's importance to American literary development (137). At the turn of the century, their critical position was a salutary balance to the "priggish" suspicions about democratic expansiveness that were so eloquently expressed by Santayana (132). Shorter Book Reviews 131 Influence is the central topic of this book, and its author attempts to establish the "literary context [Whitman] so often tried to expunge"(4). Price demonstrates clearly the English heritage of Whitman's stylistics--for instance, the "central trope" of the mind as a house or chamber, derived from Tennyson (30)--and of his prophetic persona, derived from Carlyle (89). He is careful, however, to emphasize that the innovations of the American, such as Whitman's "attempt to phallicize poetic discourse," constitute "a series of ingenious counters to English practice" (33-34). At home, the poet also veered from those whose writingshe absorbed. Price links Whitman's reliance on the present participle to Poe's (65) and his cosmic perspective to Bryant's (57), all the while preparing his readers for the conclusion that "Whitman stands for revolt" (150). However, he gives most attention to the "overemphasized" relationship with Emerson (35). Focusing on the famous letter of 1856 (in which Whitman enthusiastically proclaims Emerson's influence on the genesis of Leaves of Grass), Price stresses its "purposeful offensiveness" (37) and its deliberate subversion of a "masterdisciple " relationship (40). "My reading of the letter opposes nearly every other critical assessment," he states (37). This is not a fair assertion, however, given recent scholarship in the field. For example, erry C. Larson's Whitman's Drama of Consensus (1988) precisely analyzes Whitman's paradoxical merger of "slavish adherence" and rebellious "ventriloquising"when grappling with Emerson (Larson 49). At times, Price's statements about Leaves of Grass are similarly cursory. In a chapter on Whitman's "late phase," he contends that "tosaythat Leaves of Grass was born out of the Civil War is to ignore the fact that Whitman's best poetry was written before a shot had been fired" (94). Of course, only Walt Whitman himself has ever been reckless enough to pretend that his 1850s poems were born out of the national strife of the 1860s. But the poet's awestruck attitude towards...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1710-114X
Print ISSN
0007-7720
Pages
pp. 130-132
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.