The Portable Thoreau

The Portable Thoreau


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The Portable Thoreau by Henry David Thoreau

An updated edition of Thoreau's most widely read works

Self-described as "a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot," Henry David Thoreau dedicated his life to preserving his freedom as a man and as an artist. Nature was the fountainhead of his inspiration and his refuge from what he considered the follies of society. Heedless of his friends' advice to live in a more orthodox manner, he determinedly pursued his own inner bent-that of a poet-philosopher-in prose and verse. Edited by noted Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer, this edition promises to be the new standard for those interested in discovering the great thinker's influential ideas about everything from environmentalism to limited government.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143106500
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/27/2012
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 289,581
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1817. He graduated from Harvard in 1837, the same year he began his lifelong Journal. Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau became a key member of the Transcendentalist movement that included Margaret Fuller and Bronson Alcott. The Transcendentalists' faith in nature was tested by Thoreau between 1845 and 1847 when he lived for twenty-six months in a homemade hut at Walden Pond. While living at Walden, Thoreau worked on the two books published during his lifetime: Walden (1854) and A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849). Several of his other works, including The Maine Woods, Cape Cod, and Excursions, were published posthumously. Thoreau died in Concord, at the age of forty-four, in 1862.

Jeffrey S. Cramer is the Curator of Collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods. He is the editor of the award-winning Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, The Quotable Thoreau, among other books. He lives in Maynard, Massachusetts.

Date of Birth:

July 12, 1817

Date of Death:

May 6, 1862

Place of Birth:

Concord, Massachusetts

Place of Death:

Concord, Massachusetts


Concord Academy, 1828-33); Harvard University, 1837

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The Portable Thoreau 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a sixteen year old junior, I grasped 'Walden' in an attempt to escape to the true essentials in life. The hectic times of high school as well as trying to deal with a sudden move half-way across the country, 'Walden' helped sand down those tough places in my life. I would absolutely recommend Thoreau, or transcendentalism in general, to anyone in a similar situation.
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Skitch41 More than 1 year ago
This was a very difficult book for me to read as there was too much going on. Thoreau had a wandering mind as well as body, and that comes out quite well in this collection of his works. Unfortunately, I don't like that sort of writing. It always felt like he was rambling and would never stick to one topic. While this is an admirable quality it is also frustrating. There were some interesting parts in this book. I particularly liked aspects of "Civil Disobedience," the chapter in Walden on reading was riveting, and his "Life Without Principles," had some interesting thoughts. And, too be fair, I read through this rather quickly. But, this is a book only for philosophers and Thoreau/Transcendentalist scholars. Average readers should stick with "Civil Disobedience" and Walden.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Unitrian Universalist I thouroughly enjoyed this book. I recommend reading Civil Disobedience to anyone who wants to learn how to use non-violent methods to protest against war and any other injustices in our own country and around the world. Long Live Thoreau!