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Walden Hardcover – 14 Sep 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Revised edition edition (14 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300104669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300104660
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 20.3 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 536,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Cramer's notes are immensely useful. His edition of Walden will be a boon to ordinary readers and scholars alike." -- Dennis Donoghue, author of Speaking of Beauty

About the Author

Jeffrey S. Cramer is curator of collections, The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods. He is the editor of Thoreau on Freedom: Attending to Man: Selected Writings of Henry David Thoreau.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor,1 in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By South Wales tech lover on 26 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
If you have any interest in anti-consumerism, anti-commercialism, or just simplistic living / downscaling you MUST read this book (and visit the pond in Concorde if you get the chance...)

Thoreau provides an exquisite window onto a world that more and more people in society today are hungering for. He articulates the principles behind a simpler way of life, and then goes that step further than most authors on the subject, and lives the life that he preaches (until US Taxation Laws force him to abandon the idyll that he creates...)

Don't buy it - in true Thoreau style, go and get a copy from your local library!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John D. Fleet on 11 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Walden is a masterpiece by Thoreau, about his years living in a cabin by a lake. He explains the advantages of a vegetarian way of life, saving money otherwise spent on meat, coffee and tobacco. It is the perfect book to take with you for that quiet retreat. I read it on Bardsey Island, living in a simple cottage in peace and tranquillity, and it has inspired me to simplify my life!Walden: Or, Life in the Woods (Dover Thrift)
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86 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Jimbob on 11 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
I find it hard to believe that the above reviewers are talking about the same book. This book is one of my personal treasures. Thoreau seems to embody the intelligence and wit of a great thinker with a childlike enthusiasm and excitement about the beauty of the natural world. When you combine that with his desire to live life and his respect for even the most humble of his fellow men you are in for some profound literature. This is not a book to be scan read or rushed through. Savour it, I don't see how you could be disappointed.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
And `Tis a shame that I cannot claim this is a re-read after 40 years or so. I can only cite the very well-worn cliché: Better late than never.

Walden is a pond, just outside Concord, Massachusetts, and for two years in the mid-1840's Henry David Thoreau lived a largely solitary existence there, in a simple wooden cabin which he constructed. This book is a collection of his mediations on the natural world, and a person's place in it. Thoreau also ruminates on an individual's place in society and certainly demurs about the hurly-burly existence led by so many, or, in an expression that I had always attributed to T. S. Eliot, but was first coined by him: "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."

The first third of the book is on "economy," and the house that he built near Walden. He describes his labor, and provides a table indicating the total cost, and compares that with the annual rental cost of housing. Similarly, he covers his food, clothing and fuel expenses (the "essentials"), and the underlying theme remains the subject verse, taken from a Shaker song, "Simple Gifts," written about the same time: if you simplify your life, and rid yourself of the bondage of so much self-imposed clutter, you really are much freer, and that includes having the opportunity to take a ramble in the woods, which was a major aspect of his two years at Walden. As Thoreau phrased it: "Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By mamma C. on 17 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Must be read! Must learn about Thoreau in the schools! H.D Thoreau was maybe the first ecologist of the world.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Tupholme on 11 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Walden was not what I was expecting in one way, in that it isn't a very complete record of how Thoreau actually lived. Yes there are details of his plantings and his accounts, but I was expecting it to be more hands-on in the details of self-sufficiency. However, that is not to say I was disappointed by any means, rather the book is full of WHY he lived in this way and that is much more valuable and interesting. Nearly every page has some deceptively simple thought that opens the mind and allows one to see the world in a different way. He is at his strongest when considering the human condition, and it is worth persevering through some of the denser passages as taken overall this has to be considered a classic.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Sept. 2000
Format: Hardcover
although reading about potatos and bean fields is less than thrilling,Thoreau's simple and impactful words strike a chord and directly address the side of us that so easily becomes overshadowed in a consumerist society. With lines of such force as "Men do not own their homes, but rather the homes own the men", Thoreau's view of life as it should be is revolutionary, fuel for human change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frootle on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
I know, I know: it's a classic of early American literature. But it's too both polemical and too detailed. For the interminable first chapter you are, by turns, being ranted at, and being given the full minutiae of his home economy. Yes, yes, we're all terrible for being frivolous and materialistic, and we could live forever in a hut on Indian grain, but would you want to? There's moments of brilliance (eg 'the mass of men leads lives of quiet desperation'), but there's a huge ocean of meandering ranting that you need to swin through to get these pearls.
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