Walden and Civil Disobedience
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In 1845 Henry David Thoreau left the town and headed to the countryside. There, beside the lake of Walden, he built himself a simple log cabin and returned to nature. In this perceptive and sometimes moving narration, we hear Thoreau's deeply personal reaction against the commercialism and materialism of mid-nineteenth century America. A warning from the past which is more than valid today. 'If a man does not keep pace with his Companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.' Let's hope so, and that there are more Thoreau's out there today. If not, then this audiobook may go some way to inspiring them --Bukowski on Bukowski zine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From the Inside Flap
With their call for"simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!," for self-honesty, and for harmony with nature, the writings of Henry David Thoreau are perhaps the most influential philosophical works in all American literature. The selections in tis volume represent Thoreau at his best. Included in their entirety are "Walden, his indisputable masterpiece, and his two great arguments for nonconformity, "Civil Disobedience and "Life Without Principle. A lifetime of brilliant observation of nature -- and of himself -- is recorded in selections from "A Week On The Concord And Merrimack Rivers, Cape Cod, The Maine Woods and "The Journal. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
For purists, it is all too easy to pick holes. Thoreau's philosophy was far from rigorous in an academic sense; many of his observations from nature were not scientifically robust; building his log cabin only one and a half miles from his parents' home and continuing to buy essentials in Concord (he was on his way to the shoe-menders when arrested for non-payment of taxes), he cannot credibly be said to have cut himself off from society; and for his refusal to pay taxes he spent only one night in the local lock-up before an aunt paid his debt. But to pick holes would be to risk missing several important points. First and foremost, he did succeed in sustaining himself at a basic level for fully two years. His diet was essentially, though not exclusively, vegetarian; he drank only water; kept no pets or other livestock; and seems never to have even thought of acquiring and maintaining a family.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thoreau's 'Walden' is a beautifully written piece of American literature - describing the life and experiences of the author as he embarks on a year-long adventure: living a more... Read morePublished 17 days ago by S P Mead
This is a classic and a great read. The Folio is the best edition I have seen.Published 1 month ago by W. R. Pratt
This has to be one of the great books. It's not easy to read but it really makes you think about how we live life today and whether or not it is the only way to live. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John R.
Everything points to this being a great book. Thoreau is quoted in so many places as an expert in solitude. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ms Bruce
Just to balance out the other review.
The copy I purchased on 13 May 2016 from Amazon - ISBN 9 780393 930900 - is of perfect quality. Read more
Looking forward to reading this book when I get time. Great seller, highly recommended!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer