- Hardcover: 275 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 150th Anniversary ed. edition (11 Aug. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618457178
- ISBN-13: 978-0618457175
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.4 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,177,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Walden Hardcover – 11 Aug 2004
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Bill McKibben gives us Thoreau's Walden as the gospel of the present moment. --Robert D. Richardson, Jr., author of Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind
'[Thoreau] says so many pithy and brilliant things, and offers so many piquant, and, we may add, so many just, comments on society as it is, that this book is well worth the reading, both for its actual contents and its suggestive capacity.' --A. P. Peabody, North American Review, 1854
'[Walden] still seems to me the best youth's companion yet written by an American, for it carries a solemn warning against the loss of one's valuables, it advances a good argument for traveling light and trying new adventures, it rings with the power of powerful adoration, it contains religious feeling without religious images, and it steadfastly refuses to record bad news.' --E. B. White, Yale Review, 1954
'Bill McKibben gives us Thoreau's Walden as the gospel of the present moment.' -Robert D. Richardson, Jr., author of Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
One of the most influential books in early American literature --This text refers to the Paperback 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
This is the worst book I have ever received off of Amazon, the front cover is low resolution implying it was cheaply photocopied, all of the text is badly ordered and there are no... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The text itself is good, but this edition is terrible. No page numbers, the layout is dense and very hard to read. Do buy Walden, but not this edition of itPublished 2 months ago by Em
An appalling edition with terrible illustrations and missing text. I recommend getting a second hand editionPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 3 months ago by S P Mead
This is a classic and a great read. The Folio is the best edition I have seen.Published 4 months ago by W. R. Pratt