Democratic Vistas

Ever the hopeful (if naive) optimist, Walt Whitman foretells the limitless potential of a liberated humanity.

Throughout his life, Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was dazzled by the 19th century’s seemingly endless cascade of political, economic, technological, and social revolutions. He spent his career in search of the Great American Artist who could capture the incredible nature of the country and the age. In Democratic Vistas (1871), Whitman offered his own vision of the world’s evolving liberal Manifest Destiny, complete with castles in the air, exploration of the stars, and the conquest of death. Whitman believed there were no discernible limits to human achievement, if only we would leave each other in peace.