This week’s guest is David S. Reynolds, a distinguished professor of English at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography, winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Ambassador Book Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
A cultural historian of the pre-Civil War period, Reynolds has written seminal books about abolitionist John Brown, whose raid on Harpers Ferry is approaching its 160th anniversary. Reynolds also wrote two other books about Walt Whitman, the “bard of democracy,” whose bicentennial birthday is being celebrated this month, particularly in New York, where he was born and established himself as a poet and writer.
Reynolds is giving an invited talk at Whitman’s birthplace in Huntington, New York, on May 31 — the bard’s birthday. An interview with Reynolds is also due to air on NPR’s All Things Considered on May 30.