George Papadopoulos leaves after his sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., September 7, 2018. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters) A minor functionary’s farcical encounter with a self-promoting schemer provided the excuse for an investigation. Editor’s…

Walt Whitman in 1887 (Library of Congress) Anyone who doubts his contribution to the democratic project should read his poetry. When Walt Whitman published Leaves of Grass in 1855, it drew some savage reviews. The…