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Walden/Civil Disobedience Audio CD – Audiobook, Classical
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A Note on the Text and Title of "Civil Disobedience" and the Text of Walden I. Civil Disobedience II. Walden 1. Economy 2. Where I Lived, and What I Lived For 3. Reading 4. Sounds 5. Solitude 6. Visitors 7. The Bean-Field 8. The Village 9. The Ponds 10. Baker Farm 11. Higher Laws 12. Brute Neighbors 13. House-Warming 14. Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors 15. Winter Animals 16. The Pond in Winter 17. Spring Conclusion III. Contexts and Comments Angelina E. Grimke, from "Appeal to the Christian Women of the South" (1836) William Whipper, from Speech Delivered at the First African Presbyterian Church (1837) William Lloyd Garrison, "Declaration of Sentiments" (1838) Orestes A. Brownson, from "The Labroring Classes" (1840) Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Man the Reformer" (1841) Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, from "Plan of the West Roxbury Community" (1842) Charles Lane and A. Bronson Alcott, from Letter to A. Brooke (1843) Henry Highland Garnet, "Address to the Slaves of the United States of America" (1843) George Ripley, "Life in Association" (1845) William Henry Channing, "To the Associationists of the United States" (1846) Louisa May Alcott, "Transcendental Wild Oats" (1873) Mary Wilkins Freman, "A Church Mouse" (1891) Leo Tolstoy, Letter to Dr. Eugen Heinrich Schmitt (n.d., c. 1895) Leo Tolstoy, "The Beginning of the End" John Albert Macy, "Thoreau" (1908) Mohandas K. Gandhi, A Selection from His Writings, 1919-1940 Martin Luther King, Jr., from Stride Toward Freedom (1958) Martin Luther King, Jr., "A Legacy of Creative Protest" (1962) Works Cited For Futher Reading --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) (properly pronounced Thaw-roe) was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book 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. His literary style interweaves close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore; while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and "Yankee" love of practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential needs. He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience influenced the political thoughts and actions of such later figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Thoreau is sometimes cited as an individualist anarchist. Though Civil Disobedience seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government – "I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government" – the direction of this improvement points toward 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." Richard Drinnon partly blames Thoreau for the ambiguity, noting that Thoreau's "sly satire, his liking for wide margins for his writing, and his fondness for paradox provided ammunition for widely divergent interpretations of 'Civil Disobedience.'" He further points out that although Thoreau writes that he only wants "at once" a better government, that does not rule out the possibility that a little later he might favor no government. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Thoreau's collected works in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau (Boston, 1906) will eventually be superseded by The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau (Princeton, 1971- ), a more complete edition that incorporates modern textual principles in its editing. Read the first page
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A note on the edition: This copy of Walden has survived with me from the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the jagged peaks of the High Sierras, from Parisian parks to Montreal blizzards, and, most remarkably, through a mess of a thesis. Needless to say, it is compact and durable, set in pleasurable type and very reasonably priced. The inclusion of 'Civil Disobedience' is a necessary one, and the poems are harmless, if nothing more. Books don't come much more perfect than this one.
He related that when the Masschusetts Bay Colony was founded, earthen houses were built. They were convenient and suitable and they had the advantage of putting everyone in a position of equality and not making the poorer inhabitants feel discouraged. It distressed Thoreau that a good deal of the money spent for shelter and dress was for show, uneconomical.
He farmed organically because he was only a squatter. He found that by working for about six weeks he could meet all of the annual expenses of living. He claimed that memorable events transpired in the morning.
Thoreau went to the woods because he wished to live deliberately. The sounds of the railroad penetrated the woods. Visitors were frequent during three seasons. In the wintertime basically he had only himself for company and some of the animals.
In any season, the woods were surprisingly dark at night. Because he had no helpers or animals to assist him in cultivating the fields he felt that he ws more intimate with the beans in his beanfield. Songs have suggested that husbandry is a sacred art.
The scenery of Walden was on a humble scale. The first ice was especially interesting. He reported seeing fox, jays, chickadees, and red squirrels in the the winter.
In CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE he asserts that in a government that imprisons unjustly, the place of a just man is in prison. Thoreau underwent an overnight jail stay when he failed to pay a poll tax.
I am not luddite, but my favourite quote from the book is this: "We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing to communicate". Does this say something about the Internet, newsmedia and our contemporary information overload, or what?
I liked the introduction and footnotes of Meyer. Just enough to provide context and explanation, but never intrusive. This book is as relevant today as it was during Thoreau's lifetime. Highly recommended.
Disobedience is the shorter of the texts, but probably more important. It is an attempt to justify moral anarchism and a call to act on individual judgements about justice.
Walden can be interpreted as an important treatise against consumerism and the dangers of specialization, as well as an appreciation of the natural environment. Those interested in anti-globalization/anti-free trade movements would do well to read Walden to gain an understanding of where anti-consumerism came from and an examination of its ethical implications. However, it also pays to remember that Walden is a failed experiment and, in the end, Thoreau returns to Cambridge.
Thoreau, as political philosophy, has certain problems. Moral anarchy and denial of the social contract is difficult to replace in civil society--Thoreau makes no more than the most vague references as to what could replace it, seeming to rely on the fact that his personal sense of justice is universal.
Nevertheless, Thoreau's conscience has resonance and is as relevant today as ever. His rejection of consumerism as the basis for society and its stratification also teaches important lessons.
Thoreau represents that first step in understanding the other part of American political thought--extremely different from that of the Constitution and Federalist Papers--but with profound connections to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Most recent customer reviews
Fantastic book. I love the simplicity of his life. For many of us life has become more complicated than required.Published 22 months ago by Maarten Annion
Thoreau's life by Walden Pond is a fascinating read. Yet the humanism he espoused seems naive and quaint to the modern ear. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2011 by Rodge
Isn't it a little bit incongruous to desire to detach yourself from society, seeking self-reliance, and then write a book about it? Just an observation... Read morePublished on July 20 2003 by Arthem
For the life artist attempting to capture a glimmer of philanthropist wisdom, it's hard to beat Thoreau. Read morePublished on March 18 2001 by Hawksong
Scorning the mass slavery of modern industrial society, Thoreau conducted his most famous experiment in life: to live in solitude in a shack he builds himself on the edge of Walden... Read morePublished on March 12 2001 by TheIrrationalMan
This is one of the greatest American works of prose ever produced, and to hear "Walden" condemned by those who lack any understaning of it or of reviling "Civil... Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2001 by John G. Mcarthur
Throughout his life, Thoreau had been an advocate for resistance to government, as well as any other forms of authority. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2000
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