Walden and Civil Disobedience (Barnes & Noble Signature Editions)

Walden and Civil Disobedience (Barnes & Noble Signature Editions)

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by Henry David Thoreau
     
 

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In 1845, when Henry David Thoreau moved into a tiny cabin he built in the woods at Walden Pond, his objective was to conduct a practical and philosophical experiment in living: to simplify his life, to support himself entirely by his own labor, to observe and draw spiritual sustenance from his surroundings. He planted and harvested beans, maintained and improved…  See more details below

Overview

In 1845, when Henry David Thoreau moved into a tiny cabin he built in the woods at Walden Pond, his objective was to conduct a practical and philosophical experiment in living: to simplify his life, to support himself entirely by his own labor, to observe and draw spiritual sustenance from his surroundings. He planted and harvested beans, maintained and improved his cabin, and received guests. He also explored the forests, ponds, and wildlife in the area; took note of natural and man-made sounds; and walked occasionally to the nearby town of Concord, Massachusetts. Just as important, he kept a record of his two years living at the pond, publishing it as Walden; or, Life in the Woods in 1854.

     In 1846, during this experiment in living, Thoreau refused to pay a mandated poll tax, vowing never to support a government that permitted and protected slavery and that had launched an aggressive war against its Mexican neighbor. When he was arrested and jailed, his neighbors were shocked by his flouting of the law. In his essay “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau argues forcefully that it is the duty of every moral citizen to refuse to cooperate with immoral laws and to be willing to suffer the legal consequences for doing so.

     Walden and “Civil Disobedience” are among the most influential writings by any American. Walden inspired the modern conservation and environmental movements, as well as the creation of America’s national parks. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. both cited “Civil Disobedience” as the primary source of their ideas on nonviolent protest against injustice.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781435141315
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
11/01/2012
Series:
Barnes & Noble Signature Editions
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
168,491
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1817. Closely linked to Ralph Waldo Emerson and the transcendentalist movement, he was a lifelong abolitionist, a noted naturalist, and a prolific writer and lecturer. He suffered from tuberculosis and died of the disease in 1862.

Brief Biography

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

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Walden and Civil Disobedience 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 122 reviews.
TheNightTide More than 1 year ago
I read this novel shortly before entering college and i can honestly say that it was one of the greatest books i have ever had the pleasure of reading. Thoreau constantly forced me to see things as i had never seen them and challenged my definition of citizenry itself. However, this book is not an easy read, and it will take time and thought to fully understand and appreciate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Walden many years ago and I called it my sure cure for insomnia. Now that I'm more mature, Walden's words resonate deep within me. Although this work was published 100 years before I was born, when I read it, I feel like Thoreau and I share the same soul. We have the same views, sensibilities, and foibles. At heart we are societal rebels and find incomparable delight and satisfaction in life's simple and natural treasures. Walden is a beautiful reminder that those of us who "march to the beat of a different drummer" are very much in tune with the rhythm of life.
Conrad_Jalowski More than 1 year ago
The American Transcendentalist Movement is often considered a reactionary intellectual movement to the traditions and principles of the Enlightenment; the dichotomy existing between the Period of Enlightenment and the Period of Romanticism. Transcendentalism is an extraordinarily complex intellectual movement that stressed the individual's purpose and role within civil society and the hierarchy of the world. Transcendentalism consisted of the constant renewal and introspection of the inward self, or the self-sufficient, self-autonomous and self-determined self that represents the individualistic entity. In addition, Transcendentalism calls for following one's own conscious and the avoidance of being enthralled to external events and factors that act to the detriment of the innate and inward self. Thoreauvian philosophy called for the noviolent resistance (subject and content specific) to policies promulgated by civil society that is despotic and tyrannical, or anything that acts contrary to the will of the individual and its autonomous spirit. Henry David Thoreau supported a limited role of government, and supported the rights of the minority. Whilst Hobbesian philosophy supported a strong, centralized government in the tradition of Thucydidean Realism, Henry David Thoreau was an individualist alongiside the similar philosophies and convictions of Soren Kierkegaard, Aristotle, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, John Locke, etc. On an additional factor, Henry David Thoreau was opposed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau's concept of the social contract as an agglomeration of the majority or the 'General Will' or of 'Popular Sovereignty' as it violated and displayed a total disregard and abhorrence for the rights of the minority. In essence, no Truth or higher ideal acts contrary to the conscious whether held in contrary regard by a single individual, a class of a few individuals or by the general populace as according to the Thoreauvian tradition. I highly recommend "Walden" and "Civil Disobediance" by Henry David Thoreau as such works reveal the innermost quarters of the human character; into the most precipitous and deepest of depths of the human spirit and mind. Henry David Thoreau infused his works with great passion, beauty, devotion and sensuality. He utilized vivid imagery and descriptive language; his works are voluptuous, harmonious and melodious.
ArielS More than 1 year ago
There has been no equal, nor will there be, to Henry David Thoreau. His writings and ideas truly magnify the human essence and bring out the worst and best aspects of being "human." His contemplations while at Walden pond are truly inspiring and edifying. How wonderful would life be if we could learn to give up the material and transitory things in this world. Walden and Civil Disobedience makes one wonder about one's interactions with other people and one's internal conflicts. A must have for deep thinkers and for those who seek to become more open-minded--set your minds free!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having attempted many times, and failed, to read Walden, I have finally and happily succeeded. In part my success was due to the platform. The Nook allowed me to look up the myriad words and allusions which with I was unfamiliar. This integrated access to a dictionary and internet resources allowed me to understand what I was reading in a deeper way than previously possible. Thoreau's classical and mythological allusions, as well as his use of scietific terminology and esoteric vocabulary rarely read or spoken today, are challenging, and rewarding. As to content, Thoreau made me think , made me laugh, engendered self-examination, enlarged my views on life. I was sorry to come to the end of the book. I look forward to reading it again. In the meantime, I will approach my days, my mornings and evenings, differently, because I finally finished Walden. sjbc
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thoreau is a poet at heart, and a philosophic genius in mind. Walden will keep readers hanging on every word. The true beauty of the Transcendentalist movement is highlighted in the best sense with Walden. The story is an autobiographical account of Thoreau's experiment to discover the true meaning of living deliberately. Walden is not a widely-known piece, but is a worthwhile read for anyone who has an appreciation for great literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although written in 1854, these two books are timeless and Civil Disobedience applies more and more as time goes on. People like Thoreau would be appalled at the state of government today. He would certainly be ashamed that we let the Government have the control that it does and that we did not take his advice long before this happened. I first read these two books when I was 13, some 45 years ago, and they are still at the top of my list of required reading. I'm not sure if that's good or bad... just read them if you haven't.
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Nicholas-Fernacz More than 1 year ago
Nicholas Fernacz Mr. Virzi AP Environmental Science December 30, 2014 Review of Walden & Civil Disobedience Walden is a very insightful, poetic piece of writing. Reading this work makes the reader feel very intelligent and a bit more refined. Although written in the 1800’s, by one of America’s most exceptional writers, the themes and commentary on the economy, and environment, and what it means to be human, is very applicable to today. Anyone, including economic and environmental science experts, can learn something from the work. Included in Walden is a window into the world of someone who lives, basically, completely to the bare bone. Imagine living in a house worth $28.13. Imagine that in the woods. Imagine hunting, and growing your crops. Thoreau proves that what a human being needs isn’t a lavish structure called a “home.” Humans don’t need to eat until they are fat, or wear the most expensive clothing. All you need to survive is written out exceptionally well, in Walden. Henry David Thoreau survived through the winter, the summer, and he did it with less than what a human being would need today. Our species has evolved mentally to the point where we can’t live on what we need; our dignity gets in the way. This book will shock you with how simple it is to live. Included in this copy of Walden is one of Thoreau’s most iconic essays: Civil Disobedience. Thoreau provides commentary on what it our responsibilities as American citizens are. Incredibly these commentaries, written way before today, are very applicable to today, similarly to Walden. Overall, after reading these two pieces, I feel very different about the way I live my life. I used to want to be extremely rich, but now I see that all of that really doesn’t matter. Thoreau changed my life for the better, and he can do the same for you.
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manirul01 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy it
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