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Publisher's Summary

In 1845 Henry David Thoreau, one of the principal New England Transcendentalists, left the small town of Concord for the country. Beside the lake of Walden he built himself a log cabin and returned to nature, to observe and reflect – while surviving on eight dollars a year.
From this experience emerged Walden, one of the great classics of American literature, and a deeply personal reaction against the commercialism and materialism that Thoreau saw as the main impulses of mid-19th-century America. Here also is Civil Disobedience, Thoreau’s essay on just resistance to government, which not only challenged the establishment of his day but has been used as a flag for later campaigners from Mahatma Ghandi to Dr Martin Luther King.
©2010 Naxos Audiobook (P)2010 Naxos Audiobook
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Tommy on 08-17-12

Brilliant

Thoreau wrote with passion and sometimes anger. The performance reflects Thoreau's bitterness with the government and people of Concord and the United States. Thoreau looks deep into himself and society. The writing is amazing and Degas played to the character almost as if he was an old friend of Thoreau.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Abby Sher on 05-02-12

One-note

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The reader conveyed a persistent tone of anger, resentment and scorn. Never just thoughtful. I kept wondering what voice I would have heard reading the actual book and how reading it myself would have changed my experience of the book.

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22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Paul Parkins on 01-18-17

Skip Walden, go straight to Civil Disobedience

I had no problem with the recording or performance. It could just be me, but I found little of value in Walden - wasn't what I was expecting, and found myself skipping lots. This would be a worse review if it weren't for Civil Disobedience, which I'd read before, so I already knew that was good - that's 4 or 5 star content, but can probably get it elsewhere.

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2 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 11-23-16

Great Literature

This is one of the most important works of American literature. it is a book I return to again and again. This reading is very good. Degas rises almost to the height of the literature itself. Do yourself a favour. Buy this audio book. Listen to it. Absorb it. Thoreau is so poorly understood and, like the Bible, people rip bits out that suit their particular agenda. But when you read these texts in their entirety, and you should, you get the full flavour of Thoreau's wit, charm and eminent sense of justice. It has been said that there have only ever been two real Christians, Christ himself and St Francis of Assisi. And of the two, Jesus doesn't quite cut the mustard. But Thoreau comes close to being the third. Not that this is a Bible bashing exercise in Christian hegemony. It is anything but that. But Thoreau's sense of humanity may well be the acme of the humanist philosophical endeavour. He was a great thinker. A revolutionary. A philosopher. A lofty American. Every great American speech written in the last 150 years has its elbows resting on the literary platter penned by Thoreau.

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