Henry David Thoreau: a life

Book Cover
Average Rating
The University of Chicago Press,
Pub. Date:
“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 more 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 more. 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   Drawing on Thoreau’s copious writings, published and unpublished, Walls presents a Thoreau vigorously alive in all his quirks and contradictions: the young man shattered by the sudden death of his brother; the ambitious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.  
More Details
Also in this Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 812f8b51-4792-a884-46ab-a2be6e901f3a
full_title henry david thoreau a life
author walls laura dassow
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-09-14 04:57:08AM

Solr Details

_version_ 1578958086041763840
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Walls, Laura Dassow,
author-letter Walls, Laura Dassow,
author_additional Laura Dassow Walls.
author_display Walls, Laura Dassow
availability_toggle_arlington Entire Collection
callnumber_sort_arlington B THOREAU H
collection_arlington New Biographies
date_added 2017-07-17T04:00:00Z
days_since_added 64
detailed_location_arlington Central New Biographies, Columbia Pike New Biographies
format_arlington Book
format_boost 10
format_category_arlington Books
grouping_category book
id 812f8b51-4792-a884-46ab-a2be6e901f3a
isbn 022634469, 9780226344690
item_details ils:.b19637378|.i21355010|Central New Biographies|B THOREAU H|||1|false|false|||||Due Oct 2, 2017|Aug 11, 2017|canbn||, ils:.b19637378|.i21390642|Columbia Pike New Biographies|B THOREAU H|||1|false|false|||||Due Sep 26, 2017|Sep 02, 2017|oanbn||, ils:.b19637378|.i21403880|Central New Biographies|B THOREAU H|||1|false|false|||||Due Oct 2, 2017|Sep 09, 2017|canbn||, ils:.b19637378|.i21403892|Columbia Pike New Biographies|B THOREAU H|||1|false|false|||||Due Oct 1, 2017|Sep 05, 2017|oanbn||, ils:.b19637378|.i21403909|Central New Biographies|B THOREAU H|||1|false|false|||||Due Oct 2, 2017|Sep 08, 2017|canbn||
itype_arlington Hardback
language English
language_boost 10
language_boost_es 1
lexile_score -1
lib_boost_arlington 10
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington B THOREAU H
local_callnumber_exact_arlington B THOREAU H
local_callnumber_left_arlington B THOREAU H
local_days_since_added_arlington 64
local_time_since_added_arlington Quarter, Six Months, Year
num_holdings 5
oclc (OCoLC)958779908
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central, Columbia Pike
physical xx, 615 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
popularity 52
primary_isbn 9780226344690
publishDate 2017
publishDateSort 2017
publisher The University of Chicago Press,
rating 2.5
rating_facet oneStar, twoStar
record_details ils:.b19637378|Book|Books||English|The University of Chicago Press,|2017.|xx, 615 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scope_has_related_records a, arlington, c, d, g, h, o, p, s, u, v, w
scoping_details_arlington ils:.b19637378|.i21355010|Checked Out|Checked Out|false|false|true|false|false|true|999|||, ils:.b19637378|.i21390642|Checked Out|Checked Out|false|false|true|false|false|true|999|||, ils:.b19637378|.i21403880|Checked Out|Checked Out|false|false|true|false|false|true|999|||, ils:.b19637378|.i21403892|Checked Out|Checked Out|false|false|true|false|false|true|999|||, ils:.b19637378|.i21403909|Checked Out|Checked Out|false|false|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet Authors, American -- 19th century -- Biography, Naturalists -- United States -- Biography, Thoreau, Henry David, -- 1817-1862
table_of_contents Introduction: land of the grass-ground river -- The making of Thoreau. Concord sons and daughters ; Higher learning from Concord to Harvard (1826-1837) ; Transcendental apprentice (1837-1841) ; "Not till we are lost" (1842-1844) -- The making of Walden. "Walden, is it you?" (1845-1847) ; A writer's life (1847-1849) ; From Concord to Cosmos: Thoreau's turn to science (1849-1851) ; The beauty of nature, the baseness of men (1852-1854) -- Successions. Walden-on-Main (1854-1857) ; Wild fruits (1857-1859) ; A constant new creation (1860-1862).
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
time_since_added Quarter, Six Months, Year
title Henry David Thoreau : a life
title_display Henry David Thoreau : a life
title_full Henry David Thoreau : a life / Laura Dassow Walls
title_short Henry David Thoreau :
title_sort henry david thoreau a life
title_sub a life