Walking (Belles Lettres)

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9781556701153: Walking (Belles Lettres)
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"Belles Lettres" is a series of small gift books aiming to combine word and image. Each one focuses on a particular issue relating to the quality of our lives, and presents a chosen author's thoughts on that subject. In this book, Thoreau writes of the sustenance derived from walking and nature. The books are all accompanied by a distictive wrapper with a seal, which can be used as a mailing envelope or as gift-wrap.

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From the Back Cover:

A meandering ode to the simple act and accomplished art of taking a walk. Profound and humorous, companionable and curmudgeonly. Walking, by America's first nature writer, is your personal and portable guide to the activity that, like no other, awakens the senses and soul to the 'absolute freedom and wildness' of nature.

About the Author:

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) (properly pronounced Thaw-roe) was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state. Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore; while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and "Yankee" love of practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential needs. He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience influenced the political thoughts and actions of such later figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Thoreau is sometimes cited as an individualist anarchist. Though Civil Disobedience seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government – "I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government" – the direction of this improvement points toward anarchism: "'That government is best which governs not at all;' and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." Richard Drinnon partly blames Thoreau for the ambiguity, noting that Thoreau's "sly satire, his liking for wide margins for his writing, and his fondness for paradox provided ammunition for widely divergent interpretations of 'Civil Disobedience.'" He further points out that although Thoreau writes that he only wants "at once" a better government, that does not rule out the possibility that a little later he might favor no government.

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Henry David Thoreau
Published by Stewart Tabori & Chang (1989)
ISBN 10: 1556701152 ISBN 13: 9781556701153
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Book Description Stewart Tabori & Chang, 1989. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1556701152

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