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Catherine Reef's fascinating, in-depth biography explores the life and character of one of America's greatest poets, incorporating highlights from his writings and photographs of the poet and the America he experienced. In "Leaves of Grass," first published in 1855, Whitman's innovative, free poetic style celebrated nineteenth-century America and himself as one of its citizens. His poems captured the spirit of a time when cities grew rapidly, pioneers and railroads crossed the Great Plains, and the Civil War nearly tore the nation apart. This book combines detailed historical information with Whitman's optimism, love for humanity, and pure joy in living.