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Books that Shaped Work in America

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Title    Author    Year    Contributors
Leaves of Grass

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What Others are Saying

Leaves of Grass

Author: Walt Whitman

Year Published: 1855

What Others are Saying:

  • This book is poetic heart of America. It is the summary life work of America's most widely translated and internationally celebrated poet. In terms of poetic quality, it is comparable to Paradise Lost, King Lear, or The Divine Comedy, and in terms of historical importance, it is unparalleled in American literature. For Leaves of Grass is also our finest first-hand account of the injured and dying during the Civil War. It is so many things: a liberating book of homespun mysticism, a gay manifesto, a measure of our ethical progress in treating others, an empire-defining testimony to the meaning and nature of democracy. Leaves of Grass should not only make the list; it should be first on the list.
  • The descriptions of workers, the process of work itself, and the unique images of America move the mind and the heart.  One of the lessons I learned early was respect for the often unrewarded, inglorious work that keeps the trains moving, the food coming to table, the trash off the streets.  Whitman honored that work and the people who do it, weaving in their lives into the fabric of the country as a whole.

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