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Walking: A Little Book of Wisdom (Little Books of Wisdom) Paperback – 18 Jun 1994


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Paperback, 18 Jun 1994
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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins (18 Jun. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062511130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062511133
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,182,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Henry David Thoreau was born (1817), died, and lived most of his life in Concord Massachusetts, where the American Revolution against British colonial rule began. Educated at Harvard, Thoreau was an avid reader - in five languages- of everything from classical literature and Hindu and Chinese philosophy through narratives of travel and early American settlement, to works on the flora and fauna of his native region. Taking an active part in current political and ethical debates, Thoreau became a courageous, outspoken opponent of federal government policies, such as the expansionist war against Mexico and the refusal of Congress to legislate against southern slavery. Though he loved books about discovery and travel, Thoreau wandered neither frequently nor over a great distance. Thoreau kept a journal of his thoughts and observations exceeding two million words by the end of his life. He died, in Concord, in 1862.

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About the Author

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state. Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore; while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and "Yankee" love of 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 abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience influenced the political thoughts and actions of such later figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a free and culture merely civil-to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society. Read the first page
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Young on 3 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
This slim volume of Thoreau's thoughts is delightful. Unfortunately the book doesn't give the original publication date. He's a 19th century American author and unlike many of his time, Thoreau writes clearly and satirically. His first and second paragraphs grab you as he explains his love of walking or 'sauntering'. His thoughts were radical for the time as he saw humans as part of nature, not above it. He valued freedom and wildness above all else.

He made me want to get up and just walk - in any direction, with no purpose except that of walking. It's not about taking excercise. It's about wandering for two or three hours and observing nature, the sky, trees, walking past villas, down road, across fields and being excited by a new vista. It's a refreshing simple book to read that reminds you that when life gets too complex and hurried, all you have to do is put on your jacket, open the front door and go for a walk.
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
It is a perfect little book to carry with you for inspiration. It makes me want to take a walk... and the beautiful thing about this book is that it allows me to take a walk in my mind without ever leaving my office or room. I have and will continue to read it over and over.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By awac on 7 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a quirky little lecture that, like Thoreau's ideal walk - just setting out with no idea of where he might end up, but generally heading South-West - meanders about, at times with spectacular views. Thoreau's big central idea about societies heading West is the most interesting part, but it's always rewarding to spend time with him, even when he's slightly outspoken and annoying, and this lecture gives you a good dose of his style and personality. It doesn't have the structure of his more well-known works but a nice diversion nonetheless. Read Walden, then come back to this, maybe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Peter Davies TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a classic book by a highly regarded American author.In this book the text has been well edited, and the editor also supplies a good introduction about Thoreau and his context and evolution.

Thoreau writes well, and has many interesting observations. Whether his observations and conclusions add up to a coherent philosophy of life is more debateable. And whether others should make the time/space/leisure to follow in his footsteps is far from clear. Is Thoreau taking a walk out beyond himself? Or is he walking away from conventional responsibilities?

Whatever view you take of Thoreau he's an interesting character and interesting author, and you'll enjoy the time you spend in his company.
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