In 1837, when Henry David Thoreau graduated from Harvard and returned to his beloved village of Concord, he knew already that he wanted to be a writer and poet and independent thinker. So he built a hut near Walden Pond and, as he writes in his famous journal, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Walden is the brilliantly written record of Thoreau's experience during a year of frugal living in the woods.
Thoreau was also one of the circle of passionate idealists, led by Emerson, who called themselves "transcendentalists." Many of them were Abolitionists, and though Thoreau was not, he did not hesitate to go to jail as a protest against slavery. "Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison," he wrote.
This volume of Thoreau's writing, selected by James Daugherty and handsomely illustrated by him, is a splendid introduction to a great American writer whose words and vision still give courage and inspiration to men—among them Gandhi and Martin Luther King—seeking freedom, independence, and justice.
—from the dust jacket
Did you find this review helpful?