One of the most influential and compelling books in American literature, Walden is a vivid account of the years that Henry D. Thoreau spent alone in a secluded cabin at Walden Pond. This edition – introduced by noted American writer John Updike – celebrates the perennial importance of a classic work, originally published in 1854. Much of Walden's material is derived from Thoreau's journals and contains such engaging pieces from the lively "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For" and "Brute Neighbors" to the serene "Reading" and "The Pond in the Winter". Other famous sections involve Thoreau's visits with a Canadian woodcutter and with an Irish family, a trip to Concord, and a description of his bean field. This is the complete and authoritative text of Walden – as close to Thoreau's original intention as all available evidence allows.
"Walden is a self-help book, perhaps the ultimate self-help book, urging us to show up for our own lives, to have the courage to find our own convictions and to try to live them out [...] [Thoreau is] a writer of immense humanity, vitality and humor [...] One hundred fifty years after its publication, Walden also remains a practical, usable manual on how to lead a good, and just life [...] At its core, Walden is about the project of personal freedom, self-emancipation, which is where all pursuits of freedom must start."
– Robert D. Richardson, Smithsonian Magazine
"Each [volume] is preceded by a substantive, lively and idiosyncratic essay [...] Together, the essays are a mini-course in Thoreau and the trends he launched in American thought."
– Nancy Szokan, Washington Post Book World
Introduction by John Updike ix
Where I Lived, and What I lived For 81
The Bean-Field 155
The Village 167
The Ponds 173
Baker farm 201
Higher Laws 210
Brute Neighbors 223
Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors 256
Winter Animals 271
The Pond in Winter 282
Index by Paul O. Williams 335
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Henry D. Thoreau (1817-62) was an American author, naturalist, poet, and philosopher. He wrote many essays and books, including Civil Disobedience, Walking, and The Maine Woods, among others. John Updike (1932-2009) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and poet.