Walt Whitman's "Higher Progress" and Shorter Work Hours



Analyzes Democratic Vistas and other writings to demonstrate that part of Whitman’s conception of “higher progress” involved the attainment of freedom beyond basic necessities in order to gain “liberty’s ultimate challenge”—for “citizens to fill the purest of freedoms with activities that were complete in themselves”; goes on to track Whitman’s involvement in the movement to reduce working hours, increase leisure, and develop “labor-saving machines,” all of which formed “the obvious practical link between increasing material wealth and ‘higher progress’”; concludes by considering the influence of Whitman’s “higher progress” on John Maynard Keynes and on economists and historians of labor over the past fifty years.


How to Cite: Hunnicutt, B. K. (2008) “Walt Whitman's "Higher Progress" and Shorter Work Hours”, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. 26(2). doi: