Henry David Thoreau: A Life

Henry David Thoreau A Life Walden Yesterday I came here to live That entry from the journal of Henry David Thoreau and the intellectual journey it began would by themselves be enough to place Thoreau in the American pantheon

  • Title: Henry David Thoreau: A Life
  • Author: Laura Dassow Walls
  • ISBN: 9780226344690
  • Page: 181
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Walden Yesterday I came here to live That entry from the journal of Henry David Thoreau, and the intellectual journey it began, would by themselves be enough to place Thoreau in the American pantheon His attempt to live deliberately in a small woods at the edge of his hometown of Concord has been a touchstone for individualists and seekers since the publication of W Walden Yesterday I came here to live That entry from the journal of Henry David Thoreau, and the intellectual journey it began, would by themselves be enough to place Thoreau in the American pantheon His attempt to live deliberately in a small woods at the edge of his hometown of Concord has been a touchstone for individualists and seekers since the publication of Walden in 1854 But there was much to Thoreau than his brief experiment in living at Walden Pond A member of the vibrant intellectual circle centered on his neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson, he was also an ardent naturalist, a manual laborer and inventor, a radical political activist, and Many books have taken up various aspects of Thoreau s character and achievements, but, as Laura Dassow Walls writes, Thoreau has never been captured between covers he was too quixotic, mischievous, many sided Two hundred years after his birth, and two generations after the last full scale biography, Walls restores Henry David Thoreau to us in all his profound, inspiring complexity Walls traces the full arc of Thoreau s life, from his early days in the intellectual hothouse of Concord, when the American experiment still felt fresh and precarious, and America was a family affair, earned by one generation and about to pass to the next By the time he died in 1862, at only forty four years of age, Thoreau had witnessed the transformation of his world from a community of farmers and artisans into a bustling, interconnected commercial nation What did that portend for the contemplative individual and abundant, wild nature that Thoreau celebrated Drawing on Thoreau s copious writings, published and unpublished, Walls presents a Thoreau vigorously alive in all his quirks and contradictions the young man shattered by the sudden death of his brother the ambitious Harvard College student the ecstatic visionary who closed Walden with an account of the regenerative power of the Cosmos We meet the man whose belief in human freedom and the value of labor made him an uncompromising abolitionist the solitary walker who found society in nature, but also found his own nature in the society of which he was a deeply interwoven part And, running through it all, Thoreau the passionate naturalist, who, long before the age of environmentalism, saw tragedy for future generations in the human heedlessness around him The Thoreau I sought was not in any book, so I wrote this one, says Walls The result is a Thoreau unlike any seen since he walked the streets of Concord, a Thoreau for our time and all time.

    • ✓ Henry David Thoreau: A Life || ☆ PDF Download by ó Laura Dassow Walls
      181 Laura Dassow Walls
    • thumbnail Title: ✓ Henry David Thoreau: A Life || ☆ PDF Download by ó Laura Dassow Walls
      Posted by:Laura Dassow Walls
      Published :2019-02-01T13:13:49+00:00

    1 thought on “Henry David Thoreau: A Life”

    1. The thing about biography is, if it's well-written, you feel as if you've lost a friend at the end. And why not? After keeping the man company for 500 pages, from youth to bitter end, he begins to seep into your pores a bit. You sweat the subject, begin to feel indignant when he does, elated when he is, worried about this thing there's never enough of -- time.I knew a thing or two about H. D. Thoreau going in, mostly by dint of Walden, a book I've read straight through once and dabbled in multip [...]

    2. Those who admire Thoreau and his intimacy with nature around Concord and New England may have a sense of a legendary man equal to it, one who walked around in it confident it held few mysteries for him. The strength of Walls's portrait of Thoreau is that she writes him as a man who knew some things about how water flows and about birds, who understood the leaf and the way of squirrels, but who was still humbled by the natural world. Her book is the biography of a rather unaffected man who spent [...]

    3. This is one of the best biographies I’ve ever read. Right at the moment I can’t think of a better one. And it comes at an ideal moment for me.The official occasion is the bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth, in 1817. There is a whole wave of writing coming out about him now. Thoreau’s life speaks to me because I’ve retired from my job at the university, and have a new opportunity to live my life deliberately, as he advocated (though I’ve tried always to do that). It also—rather unexpec [...]

    4. Who is the real Henry David Thoreau? Is it Thoreau the writer? Thoreau the the philosopher? Thoreau the naturalist? The businessman? The adventurer? The political activist? The very complicated personality who finds a way to balance the multiple aspects of his life? Laura Dassow Walls finds a way to find balance too in this very well researched and composed biography. The day she signed my copy we talked about our mutual admiration of this great American philosopher/poet, evidenced by our long t [...]

    5. The greatest strength of Walls' biography of the Thoreau is her well-rounded approach to his life. Thoreau was a complex individual, whose career and character is often segmented into a partial focus. Walls writes a Thoreau, whose aspects are reunited into a whole man. Like all books, this work is not without its inconsistencies, authorial overstatements, and perhaps even errors. However, Walls' narrative is comprehensively researched, well-written, insightful, and a compassionately constructed [...]

    6. I've read many a biography, but this is one of the best I've ever read. Often in a definitive biography, the author will recite all the things that happened in the subject's life, it is dry or has the strong markings of the author's opinions. Laura Dassow Walls takes us on Thoreau's life journey in a way that makes things new and offers perspectives that make Thoreau a complete person rather than the a one-dimensional loner/naturalist/On Walden Pond man of Concord, MA. I found Thoreau's life com [...]

    7. A magnificent biography.Walls has lived with Thoreau for decades now, and her intimacy with the man and his times shows. She has digested a truly remarkable amount of detail and presents it here in a well-structured biography that reads easily even as it does justice to the richness of his times, his ideas, and his life: it's novelistic in detail while academically rigorous biography.The axis out of which the story radiates is, of course, the time Thoreau spent at Walden, his writing of the book [...]

    8. Henry David Thoreau: A Life Laura Dassow Walls(University of Chicago Press, 640 PP)Since schooldays, I have been drawn to the author of Walden and Civil Disobedience – and so has Laura Dassow Walls. She brilliantly frames the concerns of the most enduring transcendentalist, demonstrating why Thoreau remains important today: his concerns feel nearly as present as they must have felt in the 1840s. “[I]t was clear to him that the American Revolution was incomplete: inequality was rife, material [...]

    9. This is the best biography on Thoreau I've read (and that's a lot) the only book that gives you the feeling of "knowing" Thoreau.

    10. Just when you think you know enough about a favorite author, along comes a brilliant author to reveal to you a new Henry David Thoreau. Walls' biography flows. Her insights, her command of language and of Thoreau's life and works deserves the highest praise and awards. A delight to read, a new resource, and opened my eyes to parts of Thoreau I suspected but know now. I highly recommend this biography of Thoreau to any who have read Thoreau

    11. A fabulous book. Walls’s prose is energetic, weaving many short quotes with background material that give them meaning. She can be lyrical, passionate, and enjoyably colloquial at points, as when she comments that Thoreau's talk on Wild Apples “was a good lecture, a lecture with legs…”

    12. I add my praise for Laura Dassow Walls' biography of Henry David Thoreau well written, deeply researched, insightful If you like Americana, good biographies, American philosophy this is well worth picking up

    13. A masterpiece. Scholarship, research, and exquisite writing. Finished it today and am left quaking.

    14. A Great BiographyThis well written and impeccably researched book is a must read for any Thoreau lover. Highly recommended. You will admire Thoreau even more.

    15. This served as a reconnection to mid-19th century American belles lettres for me, although I have been on a James Fenimore Cooper kick since a trip to the ADK a year ago.Walls gives us a new Thoreau: ecologist, pioneer of forest management, Bhuddist, naturalist extraordinaire, entrepreneur, and performance artist. But her most precious gift to us is the context of Concord, there is a line in the book describing the constant lectures, and social experiments as "village as university". The book is [...]

    16. My respect and admiration has increased for Thoreau like spring flowers after a thaw. I devoured Walls' biography. She re-creates the man and his associates and his age in a way that is respectful, accurate and engaging. I even had to unlearn some of my misunderstandings of him.I was amazed to learn of his enormous role as a resister to Slavery; it accelerated during the John Brown trial and hanging but Thoreau (and Emerson, Philips, etc.) had in turning the fervor of the nation against the Pecu [...]

    17. Thoreau is my hero. He was a lover of forests, solitude, and walking. He was a writer, public lecturer and naturalist extraordinaire. One could credit him with opening minds to the devastations of clear cutting, rampant industrialization and the need for public parks to harbor wild life. He observed nature, expanding his experiences within the cosmos to a Buddhist like philosophy of the cycles of life death and continuity. This biography hooked me. I'm a lover of the wild life too, but the autho [...]

    18. This is the first scholarly (yet very readable) biography of Thoreau in a generation. Professor Walls incorporates much new research into Thoreau's life and interests, especially his scientific studies during the last decade of his life, including phenology, river hydrology and the dispersion of seeds. His close observations of seasonal change and the impact of humans on the environment make him one of the first to witness the onset of the Anthropocene era. Her book also dispels the notion that [...]

    19. A thoroughly researched biography that reads like a novel, Walls' book investigates how Thoreau's life intersected with the multitude of movements (Transcendentalism, Abolition) and writers/thinkers/activists of his day. Thoreau has never ceased being relevant; this books demonstrates just how the relevance of his work continues through the present day. This is one of the best biographies I've ever read; if you're interested in Thoreau, nature, 19th century life and culture, or any of the other [...]

    20. *Spoiler alert: he dies at the end.I really enjoyed this biography. It is well-written and well-researched. It is not often that a biography is both informative and easy to read. This one is great. The author contextualizes Thoreau and his ideas and writings. She examines his journals, his letters, and the work of his friends and contemporaries. She describes his journeys on foot, on train, and on water. I will now forever imagine Thoreau as a guy who strapped a kayak to the roof of a horse-draw [...]

    21. Exceptional book. I had a vision of Thoreau as a hermit writer. Instead I found a social, scientifically oriented, ethically motivated, thoughtful, kind new-age man who lived his life with purpose. I learned much about his relationship to transcendentalism and to his sense of ongoing creation. In order to support his trekking habits, his writing, and his scientific explorations, he lectured, but he also did surveying. Not even Emerson loved him all of the time, but in the end, he was almost univ [...]

    22. An intimate look into all the many side of Thoreau. The individualist, the social activist, the trusted friend, the walker, the observer, the naturalist The list goes on and on. Incredibly researched, Walls shows through letters and conversations a Thoreau that was affectionate, involved, and passionately alive. Something that is often lost with the "hermit" persona attached to him. I love his reported reply to his Aunt who questioned if he had made his peace with God. "I did not know we had eve [...]

    23. I did not want the book to end because that meant the death of Thoreau. When you spend so much time with a person, as I did with this book, you want to keep the relationship going. But there is always an end. For those who already know and love Thoreau, know his work, this is a must read. For all who chastise him, I know have ammunition against such accusations. I would also suggest reading Emerson: A Mind on Fire. For a lighter read, although some have quibbled over some facts, American Bloomsb [...]

    24. Having only have read Walden and Civil Disobedience (in audiobook) I was so pleased to have read this particular biography on a man that I so truly admire. Thorough in every sense of the word. Author Laura Dassow Walls' great attention to detail leaves the reader with such a better understanding of this man, his mission, and his life. With the beginning of his childhood, through his time at Harvard, his writing, his time at Walden, excursions to Cape Cod and Maine, to his travels out west. This [...]

    25. Stunning! At times I felt as if I was peering into the window of America's 19th Century. Thoreau's travels into the Maine woods, Canada, and Minnesota are just enjoyable and alive. The activisms of the family Thoreau revealed. He was a unique individual, friend, and citizen. I simply devoured this book!

    26. Jefferson was a clear predicate for Thoreau but the book does not comment on that or even speculate as to whether Emerson/Thoreau read Jefferson. The book does try to tie him to Muir ( with a U of Wisconsin connection!) but misses the key fact that Muir had something that Thoreau did not: TR.

    27. Henry David Thoreau: A Life by Laura Dassow Walls includes many excellent footnotes and all-encompassing index. This is truly a good biography for those who have never read a biography of Thoreau. For those, like me, who have read several, much repetition exists. This is a worthy book.

    28. My favorite book of 2017. Great biography. Walls portrays the layers of Thoreau- the prickly conscience of a small town, naturalist, friend, apprentice impatient with his mentor, writer, traveler- with balanced care and respect. An immersive, often inspiring, read.

    29. Contrary to common wisdom Walls shows that Thoreau was much more than some literate hermit holed up in the woods somewhere. He was deeply embedded with and committed to his community and completely engaged with its social and artistic activities.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *