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Extended Audio Sample Walden and On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (15,351 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henry David Thoreau Narrator: Robin Fiel Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the early spring of 1845, Henry David Thoreau built and lived in a cabin near the shore of Walden Pond in rural Massachusetts. For the next two years, he enacted his own Transcendentalist experiment, living a simple life based on self-reliance, individualism, and harmony with nature. The journal he kept at that time evolved into his masterwork, Walden, an eloquent expression of a uniquely American philosophy.

During the same period, Thoreau endured a one-day imprisonment for his refusal to pay a poll tax, an act of protest against the government for supporting the Mexican War, to which he was morally opposed. In his essay “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” he defends the principles of such nonviolent protest, setting an example that has influenced such figures as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and that endures to this day.

Henry David Thoreau is today considered one of the most influential figures in American thought and literature. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Here, in [‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’] I made my first contact with the theory of nonviolent resistance…I was so deeply moved that I reread the work several times…No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau.”

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • “[Thoreau’s] ideas influenced me greatly…I actually took the name of my movement from Thoreau’s essay ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’…”

    Mahatma Gandhi

  • Walden is a major philosophical statement on the American character, the uses of a life of simple toil, and the values of rugged independence…a work that today…is as readable and perhaps even more timely than when it was written.”

    Masterpieces of World Literature

  • “Narrator Robin Field’s expressiveness is excellent, his pacing fine, his understanding of the text clear. His reading of the famous, and still radical, essay on civil disobedience is direct and down-to-earth, keeping all Thoreau’s good qualities.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Erin | 2/20/2014

    " I liked his ponderings on economy & food. Great wit & sarcasm- things I've often thought @ the human race. His rambling bored me after a while though & although many would think he had a lot of great philosophical thought, I saw how self-centered & selfish he was too, just as he complained @ others being. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Shar Kanan | 2/14/2014

    " if man does not keep pace with his companions... and all that jazz. plus, as the inspiration for Ghandi and Martin Luther King's movements re peaceful independence/equality, can anyone afford not to read it? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chris Woollet | 2/10/2014

    " Kinda boorish if you ask me, sorry. I'll see your Thoreau and raise you one Everett Ruess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Gabriela | 2/2/2014

    " Read this, hug a tree, and f*#k the American government! "

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