WALDEN (The Nook Special Classic Edition) by HENRY DAVID THOREAU Walden, or a Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau Author of Civil Disobedience [Personal Inspiration for Gandhi and Martin Luther King] Transcendentalist Philosophy Transcendentalism [NOOK Book]

Overview

Walden is an American book written by noted Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self reliance.

Published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his ...
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WALDEN (The Nook Special Classic Edition) by HENRY DAVID THOREAU Walden, or a Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau Author of Civil Disobedience [Personal Inspiration for Gandhi and Martin Luther King] Transcendentalist Philosophy Transcendentalism

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Overview

Walden is an American book written by noted Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self reliance.

Published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts.

By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, a central theme of the American Romantic Period. As Thoreau made clear in his book, his cabin was not in wilderness but at the edge of town, about two miles (3 km) from his family home.

Thoreau's intention during his time at Walden Pond was "to conduct an experiment: Could he survive, possibly even thrive, by stripping away all superfluous luxuries, living a plain, simple life in radically reduced conditions?" He thought of it as an experiment in "home economics". Although Thoreau went to Walden to escape what he considered, "over-civilization", and in search of the "raw" and "savage delight" of the wilderness, he also spent considerable amounts of his time reading and writing.

Thoreau spent nearly four times as long on the Walden manuscript as he actually spent at the cabin. He went through eight different drafts over the course of almost ten years. Walden was a moderate success when it was first published in 1854. It sold well and was received favourably among reviewers.

After Walden's publication, Thoreau saw his time at Walden as nothing more than an experiment. He never took seriously "the idea that he could truly isolate himself from others." Without resolution, Thoreau used "his retreat to the woods as a way of framing a reflection on both what ails men and women in their contemporary condition and what might provide relief."

Walden emphasizes the importance of solitude, contemplation, and closeness to nature in transcending the "desperate" existence that, he argues, is the lot of most people. The book is not a traditional autobiography, but combines autobiography with a social critique of contemporary Western culture's consumerist and materialist attitudes and its distance from and destruction of nature. That the book is not simply a criticism of society, but also an attempt to engage creatively with the better aspects of contemporary culture, is suggested both by Thoreau's proximity to Concord society and by his admiration for classical literature.
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Editorial Reviews

John Updike
A century and a half after its publication, Walden has become such a totem of the back-to-nature, preservationist, anti-business, civil-disobedience mindset, and Thoreau so vivid a protester, so perfect a crank and hermit saint, that the book risks being as revered and unread as the Bible.
Robert Frost
In one book ... he surpasses everything we have had in America.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, 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, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thoreau is sometimes cited as an individualist anarchist. Though Civil Disobedience seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government – "I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government" – the direction of this improvement points toward anarchism: "'That government is best which governs not at all;' and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 247 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(76)

4 Star

(99)

3 Star

(33)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(25)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 246 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very poorly converted e-book

    This book is very poorly converted to e-book and contains too many errors to make it enjoyable to read; in some places it is impossible to read because you just can't tell what you are supposed to be reading.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Great Book, Poorly Digitalized

    This is a great book. However, this version presents as a lackluster scan-job with no editing yielding a finished product contaminated by numerous unintelligible conversion errors from smeared paragraphs to numerous misconverted words. I should note that I have not read this version in full as I was too dissatisfied with the poor quality to proceed much beyond the first forty pages (which I had previously read and was mostly scanning for errors in an attempt to find a legible nook version of this great book).

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Bad text

    There are several scan/ typing errors in this edition

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    Great Book, Terrible Reproduction

    "Walden" is one of the greatest and most important books in American literature, but this version is almost illegible on the Nook. Spend a couple more bucks and get another version.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Disappointed

    Walden is wonderful piece of literature. This copy contains a lot of unreadable text. Much of the text is ra dom characters and mumbo jumbo! Waste of money!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2011

    Couldnt read it

    Was not scanned well.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    The Best American Book EVER Written

    Of all the books and treatises that have ever been published since our country's founding, this one stands heads and shoulders above everything else. In this volume, Thoreau beautifully articulates all that is great about America ... not its guns and armies, but rather its trees and forests, the quite meditations possible in unspoilt nature, and the philosophy of self reliance.

    This is, as far as I am concerned, THE best American book EVER written, and is absolutely essential reading for anyone who wants to know about America.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Image contains many, many formatting errors

    The first few pages are okay, but later ones contain whole paragraphs that are indecipherable jumbles of symbols, punctuation marks, and random letters. Walden is a good book, too bad this one is unreadable.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Horrible version

    Thus free version is so loaded with jumbled text an errors, it is difficult to tead. Where is the quality control Barnes and Noble???

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Walden

    Not my style.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    didnt get to read

    I bought thid book and it took forever to download so i didnt get a chance to read it--too bad, maybe I will try again another time

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2009

    Interesting and Insightful

    The cover of this book caught my eye in the library. I had never read Thoreau and thought I would check it out, just to see what Walden is all about. I assumed the book would be academic, antiquated and stuffy -- but it's not! With all of today's issues on greed and excess, this book is just as timely as ever.

    This copy of Walden is heavily annotated. Some people may find the notations distracting, but I enjoyed reading the annotations almost just as much as the text itself. I'm not a scholar, so I won't evaluate the notes and comments, but for me they gave me a better understanding of Thoreau writings.

    After returning Walden to the public library, I had to have a copy of my own. I expect I'll be going back to this book time and time again, to re-read passages and find inspiration. Also, it is a beautiful, well-made book, printed on quality paper and well worth the money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Meg

    (I read it. Sounds amazing) she went to the Athena treehouse. "I will see you next full moon milady." She bowed and went up the tree.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Jane&Kane

    Jane: *she held her arrow.*
    Kane: he howled.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Kirsten

    She nodded and held up an arrow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Meg

    Looked at Artemis as she glowed. "I...never mind."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Morgyn

    She held up her own arrow to join them with the others., eyes flashing silver for a little.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Renegade

    She howled, and a white and silver wisp traveled from her muzzle and joined the arrows.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Kress

    Her special cresent moon necklace glowed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Lupa

    The spikes on his pelt rose and had a faint silver glow at the tips.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 246 Customer Reviews

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