Left Bank Books
Join the Gay Men's Reading Group for a discussion of Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America's First Bohemians by Justin Martin!
In the shadow of the Civil War, a circle of radicals in a rowdy saloon changed American society and helped set Walt Whitman on the path to poetic immortality. Rebel Souls is the first book ever written about the colorful group of artists—regulars at Pfaff's Saloon in Manhattan—rightly considered America's original Bohemians. Besides a young Whitman, the circle included actor Edwin Booth; trailblazing stand-up comic Artemus Ward; psychedelic drug pioneer and author Fitz Hugh Ludlow; and brazen performer Adah Menken, famous for her Naked Lady routine. Central to their times, the artists managed to forge connections with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, and even Abraham Lincoln.
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