Natural philosopher and rugged poet Henry David Thoreau has inspired many generations through Thoreau’s popular essays included here: Civil Disobedience, Slavery in Massachusetts, A Plea for Captain John Brown, Walking, and Life without Principle.
Cited by both Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. as influential in their drive to create positive change through nonviolent means, Thoreau’s essay CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE is just as applicable today as people search for their own role in making society better.
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About the Author
Essayist, poet, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) ranks among America's foremost nature writers. The Concord, Massachusetts native spent most of his life observing the natural world of New England, and his thoughts on leading a simple, independent life are captured in his best-known work, Walden.
Date of Birth:July 12, 1817
Date of Death:May 6, 1862
Place of Birth:Concord, Massachusetts
Place of Death:Concord, Massachusetts
Education:Concord Academy, 1828-33); Harvard University, 1837
Table of ContentsCivil Disobedience (1849) 3
Slavery in Massachusetts (1854) 11
A Plea for Captain John Brown (1860) 17
Walking (1862) 25
Life without Principle (1863) 38
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
re-read after many years, still as insightful and inspiring as ever
He has some wonderful essays, although it must be remembered that he had few personal responsibilities & no family to support. He was too self-centered for a wife & children. I believe he is sincere, if impractical. I think he draws the lines rather tight for the real world some times, but maybe it is that attitude that allowed things to go so wrong since his day...I've seen him labeled an Anarchist, but I believe he was a Libertarian. He wanted a better government that needed to govern less.
some quotes i liked:"if the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth,-certainly the machine will wear out. if the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, i say, break the law. let you life be a counter friction to stop the machine. what i have to do is to see, at any rate, that i do not lend myself to the wrong which i condemn." (page 8)"a government that pretends to be christian and crucifies a million christs every day!" (page 43)
I couldn't finish Walden and I couldn't finish all of these essays either. It's probably just me. I cannot get a grip on Thoreau's style or his politics and philosophy.
This is more or less the core of libertarianism. A true classic.