Henry David Thoreau

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…

– Henry David Thoreau


born in Concord, Massachusetts, The United States July 12, 1817
died: May 06, 1862
gender: male
genre: Philosophy, Biographies & Memoirs, Non Fiction

Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau)was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, philosopher, and abolitionist who is best known for Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism.

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 nonviolent resistance influenced the political thoughts and actions of such later figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thoreau is sometimes cited as an individualist anarchist as well as an inspiration to anarchists. Though Civil Disobedience calls for improving rather than abolishing government ā€” “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government” ā€” the direction of this improvement aims at 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.”



18 thoughts on “Henry David Thoreau

  1. August 9, 1854: Walden; or, Life in the Woods was published 159 years ago today. šŸ™‚

  2. Love Thoreau’s minimalist philosophy – which is all the rage now , as we are realizing / suffering the effects of cluttering – both the environment and our minds. Started reading Walden , last year but haven’t been able to complete it ……hope i do

  3. Unfortunately, Mahatma never acknowledged Thoreau for the civil disobedience idea he used.

  4. The professor should do the same…

  5. A trek or hide or walk in the woods can give once a sense of belonging. I am unsure about living deliberately living in the woods. One can live deliberately anywhere.

    • You are right, Perpetua, one should live deliberately any and every where. I guess when you are in the woods or a cave, etc., you’ll have less distractions like the phone, TV or blogging. šŸ˜†

      • Yup, no blogging either šŸ˜›

      • šŸ˜†
        ā€œI 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. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.ā€
        ā€• Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

      • Tis very good. I hope he found what he needed in the woods. You may stop laughing now. šŸ˜›
        Thank you for a longer quote.

  6. A great writer and most very much ahead of the times.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s