Henry David Thoreau (Author) Adam Tuchinsky (Introduction by)
Buy new or used from an indie through our partner Biblio:
DescriptionThis summation of his life's work, published posthumously in 1862, became a seminal influence in the modern environmental movement and is no less relevant today than 150 years ago. "Above all, we cannot afford not to live in the present," he wrote. He extolled walking as a delightful and necessary idleness, an antidote to the burdens of civilization, a means of immersing ourselves in nature and awakening to the moment. "Walking" is recognized by most scholars as Thoreau's "other" masterpiece, Walden in a more concise form. In the introduction of this edition, Adam Tuchinsky accessibly and engagingly unpacks the essay's nineteenth-century associations, highlights the startling modernity of its sentiments, and reveals why Thoreau remains the towering figure in the history of American nature writing. Exquisite contemporary nature photographs curated by Denise Froehlich grace this handsome book.antique-looking paperB&W nature photos from Kurito Koichiro and other fine art photographers captioned with memorable lines from Thoreau's writings.
September 12, 2017
5.7 X 8.5 X 0.6 inches | 0.7 pounds
Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 - May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, yogi,  and historian. A leading transcendentalist,  Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience" (originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government"), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state. Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, in which he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close observation of nature, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and Yankee attention to 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 the abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience later influenced the political thoughts and actions of such notable figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. Thoreau is sometimes referred to as an 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 contrarily 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." Thoreau had a distinctive appearance, with a nose that he called his "most prominent feature". Of his appearance and disposition, Ellery Channing wrote:  His face, once seen, could not be forgotten. The features were quite marked: the nose aquiline or very Roman, like one of the portraits of Caesar (more like a beak, as was said); large overhanging brows above the deepest set blue eyes that could be seen, in certain lights, and in others gray, -eyes expressive of all shades of feeling, but never weak or near-sighted; the forehead not unusually broad or high, full of concentrated energy and purpose; the mouth with prominent lips, pursed up with meaning and thought when silent, and giving out when open with the most varied and unusual instructive sayings.
Adam Tuchinsky is Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern Maine.