Walt Whitman, an icon of the original American Transcendentalists, wrote Manly Health and Training a decidedly non-transcendentalist manifesto in 1858. As was his style he wrote it using one of his common pen names, Mose Velsor. It was originally published in serial form by the newspaper The New York Atlas, over several months.
By the politically correct standards of today, it is unlikely that it would have seen the light of day. In many respects, Manly Health is a very American individualistic guide to life. Whitman touches on many things, food, alcohol, sex, boxing, bathing, footwear and just about anything else he felt warranted inclusion.
In an interview in the New York Times, Ed Folsom, a professor of English at the University of Iowa and Whitman scholar, speaking about Manly Health said, "One of Whitman's core beliefs was that the body was the basis of democracy." He continues, Manly Health "...is a hymn to the male body, as well as a guide to taking care of what he saw as the most vital unit of democratic living."
Manly Health is an important window into mid-1800s North-Eastern America. Enlightenment Press is pleased to be making this valuable addition to the body of Walt Whitman's work available.
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