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Memoranda during the War

(Civil War)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  126 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In December of 1862, having read his brother's name in a casualty list, Walt Whitman rushed from Brooklyn to the war front, where he found his brother wounded but recovering. But Whitman also found there a "new world," a world dense with horror and revelation.
Memoranda During the War is Whitman's testament to the anguish, heroism, and terror of the Civil War. The book co
Paperback, 176 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1988)
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Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was fantastic... well, not really. It was piecemeal & showed views of the American Civil War that I've never read about in such detail, but was rarely complete - a bunch of vignettes, diary entries that often led no where save to a single, stark, disturbing picture & the urge to weep. No real gore, but it was awful in so many ways & yet so important. At times it was repetitive & even boring, but overall it made a great impression. Sometimes it was almost written in verse.

Albus Eugene Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
… abissi inimmaginabili di emozioni …
«Forse sembrerà strano, ma prima di quel momento mai avevo compreso fino in fondo la maestosità e il realismo, la concretezza del popolo americano.».
Whitman la sua Civil War, l’ha combattuta non da soldato, ma da 'angelo degli ospedali’. Dalla presa di Fort Sumter fino alla fine della guerra, ha girovagato per gli ospedali di Washington e gli ospedali da campo allestiti nelle retrovie delle più sanguinose battaglie di questa guerra fratricida, dove, letteralm
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Its nice to leisurely read about the normal wants and needs of Civil War soldiers. They arent thrown on a historical pedestal, all soldiers becoming one object instead of individual. I did feel that the book was a bit long, and I got the idea of the soldiers aftwr the first few entries. After hearing aboht the war in history class, it is a relief to read something that doesn't glorify the war, but announces that the gore on both ends was unnecessary.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I'm just getting lucky with these books I'm choosing (at random) or if the Civil War makes everyone who writes about it particularly inspired.

This is a beautifully written, tragic portrait of the war.If ever a book was to be read out loud (even to yourself) this is it.

History can be tough, there are too many battles, death tolls are so large they become abstract and meaningless. Whitman sits with the a soldier in the hospital and holds his hand as he dies. He tells you his name
Colleen Browne
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, literature
I would highly recommend this book even though in some respects it was disappointing. The diaries seem a bit hit and miss. I wish they were more complete. When Whitman talks about his encounters with the soldiers, the commentary is rich and his compassion and humanitarianism is unmistakable. It would be so much more informative if he had left more complete descriptions of his days and sometimes even nights spent in the hospitals during the War. That he was like an angel for so many wounded and s ...more
Jennifer Adams
As someone who is not a huge fan of Whitman's poetry, I was thoroughly moved by this collection of diary entries. Whitman served as a volunteer in hospitals attempting to treat the wounded and sick from the Civil War, and this is a record of his personal experiences. I found it fascinating to read the descriptions of medical treatments, but my students found some of it gory! I recommend it to anyone interested in the human side of the Civil War.
Oct 03, 2013 rated it liked it
It was both interesting and boring. It was interesting to hear Whitman's first-hand accounts of Civil War life, visiting soldiers in the hospital and the political tone of the time. And while all that was interesting, it was dry and, well, a bit boring at times. Civil War buffs would probably enjoy this more than the Average Joe. I'm glad I listened to it, but not so sure my life was changed by it.
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow--great book. Easy and quick read. I had not read anything of Whitman's before this. The experts from his time spent with soldiers in the hospital were fascinating. His very personal notes and comments were so revealing I was stunned they were written in that era. They were provocative and yet so intimately compassionate. If you like history you'll like this book.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it liked it
In this book Whitman talks a lot about his volunteer work at Civil-War Hospitals. That guy was like a one-man USO. He really did a lot to help those kids feel better. There was also a little account of Lincoln's wartime activities at the end of the book.
Alex H.
May 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a companion book to "Drum-Taps". I read excerpts from this to compare Walt Whitman's poetry to his diary entries. It was pretty dry reading but you can see the relationship between his diary and his poems.
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Whitman was an interestingly complex man with a unique spirit of caring. He shows it in this book.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Though I'm afraid this text sometimes slips into Whitman's notorious martial excitement, it remains an incredible account of his experience, depicting an intimately personal side of wartime atrocity.
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
What compassion. A must read.
Dave Casey
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Walter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He was a part of the transition between Transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.

Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and a volunteer nurse during

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Civil War (1 - 10 of 131 books)
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  • The Battle Of Gettysburg
  • A Short History of the Civil War: Ordeal by Fire
  • True Tales of the South at War: How Soldiers Fought and Families Lived, 1861-1865
  • Army Life in a Black Regiment
  • Spies of the Confederacy
  • The Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee (Civil War Library)
  • History of the Civil War, 1861 - 1865
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