'If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.'
Disdainful of America's growing commercialism and industrialism, Henry David Thoreau left Concord, Massachusetts, in 1845 to live in solitude in the woods by Walden Pond. Walden, the classic account of his stay there, conveys at once a naturalist's wonder at the commonplace and a Transcendentalist's yearning for spiritual truth and self-reliance. But even as Thoreau disentangled himself from worldly matters, his solitary musings were often disturbed by his social conscience.'Civil Disobedience', expressing his antislavery and antiwar sentiments, has influenced nonviolent resistance movements worldwide. Michael Meyer's introduction points out that Walden is not so much an autobiographical study as a 'shining example' of Transcendental individualism. So, too, 'Civil Disobedience' is less a call to political activism than a statement of Thoreau's insistence on living a life of principle.
About The Author
Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) was born in Concord Massachusetts and educated at Harvard. He became a follower and a friend of Emerson, and described himself as a mystic and a transcendentalist. Although he published only two books in his lifetime, Walden is regarded as a literary masterpeice and one of the most significant books of the 19th century.
A few brief but unaltered excerpts, carefully placed in context by an introduction and with ellipses scrupulously indicated, touch on the activities of a year's cycle and give the young reader a first taste of this beloved 19th-century author's account of his solitary stay in a pond-side cabin. With their dramatic use of black combined with the subtle tones of nature, Sabuda's handsome linoleum-cut illustrations recall Tejima's work in wood; quietly reflecting Thoreau's own reverence for his surroundings, they are sure to attract readers. Whether such abridgments are worthwhile is always debatable, but this one is done with such sensibility to its source that it's worth consideration. (Kirkus Reviews)