"To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men - that is genius. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Whosoever would be a man must be a nonconformist." Ralph Waldo Emerson explores the themes of individuality and self-fulfillment in his most popular essay, "Self-Reliance." In it, he celebrates America's free society, one which places value on the individual, and attacks the institution of religion as one that stifles the soul. Emerson's essays, considered among the best in the English language, have exerted much influence and enjoyed tremendous longevity.More
"Envy is ignorance." "Imitation is suicide." "Trust thyself." "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
These and other nuggets of transcendental wisdom were first published in "Self-Reliance", the prime text of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s considerable contribution to American thought. "Self-Reliance" is an essay composed from lecture notes and is thus perfectly suited to Peter Johnson’s authoritative and confident audiobook performance.
Espousing a personal philosophy of optimism and an unwillingness to follow the herd, Emerson’s essay strongly influenced ideas as varied as Thoreau’s civil disobedience, Emily Dickinson’s poetry, and arguably any American act of political opposition through individual expression, such as punk music, gun ownership, and attempts to further separate church and state. The shadow of "Self-Reliance" is long.
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