Whitman and JSTOR: Are We In or Are We Out?

The belief: Walt Whitman is more than just a poet; he is an influential American figure, emblematic of the liberal tradition and democratic ideals.

The defense: In order to substantiate this claim, I need to find a scholarly article that expounds upon his ideology and demonstrates his unique relationship to the American people.

Please follow my search for evidentiary support:

1.)  I go onto JSTOR’s website and type in “Whitman, Liberal Tradition,” knowing that I want to focus on his democratic sensibilities and pervading influence.

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2.)  Immediately, a host of articles appear examining his life and works as indicative of the liberal spirit. While many of these texts prove helpful, one in particular catches my eye. It is entitled: “Aesthetic Democracy: Walt Whitman and the Poetry of the People.” It contains three relevant words – Whitman, Democracy, and People, so I know this looks like a promising article by Jason Frank.

3.)  I click on the article and in my excitement dive straight into the abstract, trying to gauge whether or not it will prove perfect, or whether I allowed myself to be fooled by the title.

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4.)  The abstract looks very promising and highlights many of the points I hope to support, so I go to click on the full PDF file. However, I run into a bit of a problem. I am not logged onto JSTOR and, instead, am viewing the article as a layman on the internet. What to do from here?

5.)  I keep that tab open and go onto the Johns Hopkins University website, deciding to search within our catalog. I type in the same key words “Whitman, Liberal Tradition,” but nothing appears.

6.)  I then click back on my other tab and try to determine how to log into the official JSTOR website. Within moments, I find a way to search by state and then, eventually, university. After typing in Maryland and clicking on Johns Hopkins, I sign into the database and view the full PDF.

7.)  It is now saved onto my computer!

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