rare first printing in original wrappers
||"AMERICA, filling the
present with greatest deeds and problems, cheerfully accepting the
past... almost entirely on the future. Nor is that hope unwarranted.
To-day, ahead, though dimly yet, we see, in vistas, a copious, sane,
"For our New World I consider far
less important for what it has done, or what it is, than for results to
come. Sole among nationalities, These States have assumed the task to
put in forms of lasting power and practicality, on areas of amplitude
rivaling the operations of the physical kosmos, the moral and political
speculations of ages, long, long deferred, the Democratic Republican
principle, and the theory of development and perfection by voluntary
standards, and self-suppliance. Who else, indeed, except the United
States, in history, so far, have accepted in unwitting faith, and, as we
now see, stand, act upon, and go security for, thee things?"
Walt]. Democratic Vistas. Washington, DC, 1871. New York: J.S. Redfield,
1871. Octavo, original pale green printed wrappers; housed in custom
cloth box. $2800.
First printing, one of only 500 copies
printed, of Whitman's impassioned assessment of the future of America.
"No book of Whitman's is more
honest than this one, and only Leaves of Grass is more important. Democratic Vistas is a tragic utterance, perhaps a turgid one to
ears accustomed only to the lyric optimism of which Whitman also was
capable. It was a hard book for Whitman to feel and write, and it has
been found a hard book to read. But it is a necessary book, not only for
the notes it provides on the disillusionment that followed the Civil
War, but for the criticism it gives of a society which always can
benefit, as any live society can, from chastisement by its best
lovers" (Mark Van Doren, The Portable Whitman). Original
wrappers with some chipping and edgewear; almost undetectable
reinforcement to top joint; minor soiling to rear wrapper. An excellent
copy of a particularly fragile item, rare in this condition.