Memoranda During the War

Narrated by: Robert Gorman
Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The real war will never get in the books," Walt Whitman wrote in this diary he kept during the Civil War. Whitman chronicled his visits to Washington, D.C. hospitals where he comforted wounded men and assisted nurses and doctors. This journal, written by one of America's greatest poets and writers, captures the details and ironies of war.
Public Domain (P)2007 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting and boring

Yes, 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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Poignant observations from a compassionate heart

I have always loved Walt Whitman's poetry but did not have a real sense of him as a man until I listened to these tender, insightful and achingly poignant observations of the field hospitals during and after the Civil War. They are very moving snippets from his journal, very honest and personal. I was surprised that I had not heard of them earlier, as I am a Civil War 'buff'. This is a valuable contribution to knowledge about that time. Whitman's kindness to both 'secess' and Union soldiers made me appreciate him all the more. I did not give this a 5 star rating because it is not 'of a piece', but an odd assortment of topics in a bit of a mish-mash rather than an integrated work; it is from a diary, after all, and not actually ever meant for an audience, perhaps. However, as a deeply caring and wonderful human being Walt Whitman earns 10 stars.