Henry David Thoreau’s account of his adventure in self-reliance on the shores of a pond in Massachusetts—part social experiment, part spiritual quest—is an enduringly influential American classic.
In 1845, Thoreau began building a cabin at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. The inspiring and lyrical book that resulted is both a record of the two years Thoreau spent in withdrawal from society and a declaration of personal independence. By virtue of its casual, offhandedly brilliant wisdom and the easy splendor of its nature writing, Thoreau’s account of his immersion in solitude has become a signpost for the modern mind in an increasingly bewildering world.
Also included in this edition is Thoreau’s famous essay, “Civil Disobedience,” inspired by his anti-war and anti-slavery sentiments, which has influenced nonviolent resistance movements around the world ever since.
'[Thoreau] says so many pithy and brilliant things, and offers so many piquant, and, we may add, so many just, comments on society as it is, that this book is well worth the reading, both for its actual contents and its suggestive capacity.' --A. P. Peabody, North American Review, 1854
'[Walden] still seems to me the best youth's companion yet written by an American, for it carries a solemn warning against the loss of one's valuables, it advances a good argument for traveling light and trying new adventures, it rings with the power of powerful adoration, it contains religious feeling without religious images, and it steadfastly refuses to record bad news.' --E. B. White, Yale Review, 1954
'Bill McKibben gives us Thoreau's Walden as the gospel of the present moment.' -Robert D. Richardson, Jr., author of Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind