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Walking Paperback – September 17, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. He spent time as a school teacher after attending Harvard College but was dismissed for his refusal to administer corporal punishment. In 1845, wanting to write his first book, he moved to Walden Pond and built his cabin on land owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was during his time at Walden that Thoreau was imprisoned briefly for not paying taxes; this experience became the basis for his well-known essay "Civil Disobedience." He died of tuberculosis in 1862 at the age of 44.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 28 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463701438
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463701437
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By tim Fitzmaurice on August 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“I am alarmed when It happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. “ (Henry David Thoreau, WALKING)

Thoreau has a very vigorous animosity against walking for exercise or efficiency--going from place to place with the least diversion. I am not sure what his deeper reasons for being ornery about it might be, but the attitude can be neatly characterized, and maybe pigeonholed, as a predictable Transcendentalist strategy against living only for physical reasons and not the more crucial, more mindful, transcendental purposes. These Transcedentalist writers of the middle 1800’s, including Emerson and others, were convinced that people were not fully achieving the spiritual, the loftier, aspect of life.

Clearly mindful walking, for Thoreau, can generate, a productive collision of our values, the values that the society inculcates in us. Things like efficiency and purpose and even the search for personal perfection of body with all the attendant concern for how we are perceived physically are devalued. For Thoreau walking was a ritual not a mechanical physical process or a mindless activity.

This long essay--for that is what it is--can be read in a few hours. But it is large in scope. It moves into a larger discussion of the necessity of wildness, the wildness of nature and of the environment and wildness in the internal make-up of human beings.

While WALKING is not as powerfully and tightly styled as Thoreau's greatest essays, it is genuine Thoreau, personally engaging, sometimes quotable, and often startlingly neighborly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Earl Branham on February 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I felt like strapping on a pack, and losing myself in the woods. Anyone seeking nature, or escaping civilization, even for an hour, should read this wonderful and thought provoking book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karl Janssen on April 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Walking is a lecture written by Henry David Thoreau. It was first published in print form in 1862, as either a long essay or a short book, depending on how you look at it. As the title indicates, Thoreau discusses the act of walking, specifically in the woods, but the scope of the piece is much broader than that. Thoreau extols the virtues of wilderness and its necessity to mankind, not only for its advantages to our physical health, but also for its emotional, intellectual, and spiritual benefits.

This work bears a great deal of thematic similarity to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay Nature. Both are manifestoes for the Transcendentalist movement, and both advocate the appreciation of nature for its own sake, rather than merely for the material benefits it provides to mankind. This was a revolutionary concept in the mid-19th century, and the works of Emerson and Thoreau mark the beginning of the American environmental movement. Yet despite the philosophical common ground they shared, Thoreau and Emerson were distinctly different writers. Emerson’s style is more loftily cerebral, at times difficult to decipher. Thoreau’s writing is much more down-to-earth and practical, and at times even tongue-in-cheek. Emerson was the chief conceptual thinker of Transcendentalism, but Thoreau put the group’s philosophical ideas into practice, and encouraged others to do so as well. To oversimplify, one could say that Emerson talked the talk, while Thoreau walked the walk.

To become closer to nature, one need not exile oneself to a remote log cabin, as Thoreau himself did when he wrote his masterpiece Walden. To experience the wonders of the natural world around you, all you have to do is walk. Of course, Thoreau could stroll outside his front door and enjoy twenty miles of fenceless forest.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel R Soares on January 22, 2013
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In this short essay. Thoreau explains in his own terms why men travels west. A fascination with sunsets is partly to blame for man's desire to search for that place in the horizon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Uytterhoeven on December 24, 2013
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This book offers an inside-look at the mindset of 19th Century America. The West, the wild, and the future are key concepts, often overlapping each other. Thoreau offers some good thoughts on what culture should and should not be, on the importance of our relation with nature, and on the importance of "wild" nature.
But he also seems to glorify farming, which is basically the process of taming the wild, he has no attention for what happens with indigenous peoples, and he completely neglects the importance of history. Even when we take into account that this short book was written in a completely different time frame than ours, this makes it come out as unbalanced in my view.
Still, there are some sentences you will probably highlight and note down for further reflection. I know I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judith Stoloff on January 23, 2013
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Rhapsodic ode to walking where city life, or farming, are not visible. Makes me yearn for a simpler past, but we can apply his views to our most open walk opportunities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H on January 21, 2013
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I enjoy reading Thoreau; he makes you think and digest what he is saying. His word images and appreciation for nature are grounding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert daggett on January 17, 2013
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Fleeting in subject, I still consider this to among his best work. The narration available is ok but not great.
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