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Ten fun facts about Henry David Thoreau


1. Simplicity Inspiration

Henry David Thoreau is a renowned American author and philosopher, best known for his book Walden and essay Resistance to Civil Government. Walden is a reflection on the beauty of living a simple life in nature, while Resistance to Civil Government is an essay advocating for civil disobedience in the face of an unjust state. Thoreau's works have been widely influential, inspiring generations of readers to embrace a simpler lifestyle and to stand up for their beliefs.

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2. A prolific writer with an impressive body of work

Henry David Thoreau was a prolific writer, with an impressive body of work that spans over 20 volumes. His books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry have been widely read and studied, and his influence on literature and philosophy is still felt today. Thoreau's most famous works include Walden, Civil Disobedience, and A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, all of which have been translated into multiple languages and remain popular to this day. His writings have inspired generations of readers to think deeply about the natural world and their place in it.

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3. A Revered American Author, Poet, and Philosopher

Henry David Thoreau was a renowned American author, poet, and philosopher who left a lasting legacy in the form of his writings on natural history and philosophy. His works were ahead of their time, as he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. His works have been highly influential in the development of environmentalism, and his ideas are still relevant today.

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4. A Poet and Philosopher

Henry David Thoreau was a renowned American author and philosopher whose literary style was renowned for its poetic sensibility and philosophical austerity. His works interweave close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore, all while displaying a "Yankee" love of practical detail. His works have been praised for their ability to capture the beauty of nature and the complexity of the human experience.

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5. Thoreau: Nature & Human Condition

Henry David Thoreau was a renowned philosopher who explored the relationship between nature and the human condition. He believed that nature was a source of spiritual and moral guidance, and that it could be used to help people find meaning in their lives. He wrote extensively on the subject, and his works, such as Walden and Civil Disobedience, are still widely read today. Thoreau's philosophy has had a lasting impact on the way we view nature and our place in it.

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6. Thoreau: Abolitionist Advocate

Henry David Thoreau was a passionate advocate for the abolition of slavery. He was a vocal supporter of the abolitionist movement, speaking out against the injustice of slavery and encouraging others to join the cause. Thoreau was a firm believer in the power of civil disobedience, and he famously refused to pay taxes in protest of the Mexican-American War, which he saw as a war of aggression. He also wrote extensively on the subject of slavery, including his famous essay, "Civil Disobedience," which argued for peaceful resistance to unjust laws. Thoreau's commitment to the abolitionist movement was unwavering, and his legacy continues to inspire those who fight for justice and equality.

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7. The Man Who Pursued Survival

Henry David Thoreau was a man of many interests, but one of his most passionate pursuits was the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay. He believed that in order to truly discover life's essential needs, one must abandon all waste and illusion. Thoreau was a firm believer in the idea that by stripping away the superfluous, one can gain a better understanding of what is truly necessary for survival.

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8. A Passionate and Lifelong Abolitionist

Henry David Thoreau was a passionate and lifelong abolitionist, delivering powerful lectures that condemned the Fugitive Slave Law and praised the works of Wendell Phillips. He was also a staunch defender of John Brown, the radical abolitionist who led a failed raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry in 1859. Thoreau's commitment to the cause of abolition was unwavering, and he used his platform to speak out against the injustices of slavery and to advocate for the rights of African Americans.

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9. Thoreau & Civil Disobedience: Inspiring Activists & Reformers

Henry David Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience had a profound impact on the political views and actions of some of the most influential figures in history. His ideas inspired Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. to stand up for their beliefs and fight for justice and equality. Thoreau's philosophy of peaceful resistance to unjust laws and government policies has been a source of inspiration for generations of activists and reformers.

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10. An Anarchist Who Influenced Modern Thought

Henry David Thoreau is often cited as an anarchist due to his strong beliefs in civil disobedience and his opposition to government interference in the lives of individuals. He famously wrote in his essay 'Civil Disobedience' that "That government is best which governs least," and his views on the importance of individual freedom and self-reliance have been highly influential in the development of anarchist thought. Thoreau's writings have been a major source of inspiration for many modern anarchists, and his legacy continues to shape the way we think about the relationship between the individual and the state.

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Short about Henry David Thoreau
was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist

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