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"Walden" is a 1854 work by American transcendentalist Henry D. Thoreau. It concerns Thoreau's experiences over a period of two years, two months, and two days spent in a cabin near Conrad, Massachusetts. A reflection on simple living in nature, it is partly an exploration of personal freedom, partly a social experiment, and partly a voyage of self discovery. This volume is highly recommended for those with an interest in Transcendentalism and nature writing, and it would make for a worthy addition to any collection. Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) was an American poet, philosopher, essayist, abolitionist, naturalist, development critic, and historian. He was also a leading figure in Transcendentalism. Other notable works by this author include: "The Landlord" (1843), "Reform and the Reformers" (1846-48), and "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854). Many vintage books such as this are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with a specially commissioned new biography of the author.
Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 - May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, yogi, and historian. A leading transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience" (originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government"), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.
Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, in which he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close observation of nature, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and Yankee attention to practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential needs.
He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending the abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience later influenced the political thoughts and actions of such notable figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Thoreau is sometimes referred to as an anarchist. Though "Civil Disobedience" seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government-"I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government"-the direction of this improvement contrarily points toward anarchism: "'That government is best which governs not at all;' and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."