This set of timeless essays from the quintessential American shares his valuable philosophies on nature, solitude, slavery, religion, politics, fulfilling work, civil responsibilities, and more. WALDEN, Thoreaus beloved and well-known reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, looks at how the outside world can benefit from renouncing a materialistic way of life. "If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law." Thoreau "If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man." Thoreau His other essays deal with the social problems of his time CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE applies principles of individualism to civil life, culminating in a call for a life that answers to a power outside of and unaffected by the state.
LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE offers his program for a righteous livelihood through ten _25E2_2580_259Ccommandments. _25E2_2580_259D SLAVERY IN MASSACHUSETTS is based on a speech he gave at an antislavery rally after the re-enslavement of fugitive slave Anthony Burns and relates that freedom could not exist while slavery remained. PLEA FOR CAPTAIN JAMES BROWN portrays his kinship to Browns abolitionist efforts and anger toward the injustice Brown received.
"Thoreau was a great writer, philosopher, poet, and withal a most practical man, that is, he taught nothing he was not prepared to practise in himself. . .
. He went to gaol for the sake of his principles and suffering humanity. His essay has, therefore, been sanctified by suffering.
Moreover, it is written for all time. Its incisive logic is unanswerable." Mohandas Gandhi ". .
. when, in the mid-1950s, the United States Information Service included as a standard book in all their libraries around the world a textbook . . . which reprinted Thoreaus Civil Disobedience, the late Senator Joseph McCarthy succeeded in having that book removed from the shelvesspecifically because of the Thoreau essay." Walter Harding, in The Variorum Civil Disobedience I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.
No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest. Martin Luther King, Jr., Autobiography