- Series: Dover Thrift Editions
- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (May 20, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486275639
- ISBN-13: 978-0486275635
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,144 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Civil Disobedience and Other Essays (Dover Thrift Editions) Reprint Edition
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From the Back Cover
Philosopher, naturalist, poet and rugged individualist, Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) has inspired generations of readers to think for themselves, to follow the dictates of their own conscience and to make an art of their lives. This representative sampling of his thought includes five of his most frequently cited and read essays: 'Civil Disobedience, ' his most powerful and influential political essay, exalts the law of conscience over civil law.
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Top Customer Reviews
That is the sentence missing from the 45th (final) paragraph of Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience." Here I am, reading aloud in class, when suddenly I am interrupted with the report that I skipped a sentence in the text. No, I did not skip a sentence ... it simply wasn't there.
When I buy a book, for a dollar or fifty dollars, I want the entire book. I will be requesting a refund, and deleting this version from my Kindle, before more omissions are brought to light at my expense.
The result is something that could have been fascinating being just plain awkward and unsatisfying to handle and read.
In college, my professor noted, 'This book will change your life!' He was right.
Thoreau wrote this in opposition to slavery and the Mexican War but it is full of parallels and lessons for us today. Most especially useful and relevant is his tracing of the responsibility, that those who vote, share for the atrocities committed by those they vote for.
If you vote in a corrupt society, Thoreau makes you a murderer, a rapist, a thief. I could not agree more and was happy to find this herein. He does not simply advocate a boycotting of the vote, however, but calls for the revolutionary overthrow of corrupt society, through the direct action and resistance of those who are just.
There is no "lesser evil" or middle ground in Thoreau's worldview. You are just, and you are actively working to overthrow the system, or you are evil.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It will take you only a few hours to read it and it will embed itself in the foundations of your political reasoning.
Though the Anarchists claim Thoreau, I think he would have favored Marx to Bakunin.
Thoreau's main point is that the best - and many times, the only - method for fighting injustice is through passive disobedience. By refusing to cooperate with the machinery of injustice, the individual can become the friction that stops the machine. Active resistance is bound for failure, as the machine (the State, society, etc.) is too formidable for the individual to fight. But, by refusing to cooperate, justice can be achieved and injustice toppled. "Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one ".
I heartily accept the motto “That government is best which governs least or not at all”
Man has a conscience (not government) we should be Men first and subjects second.
Current political thought could use the purity, consistency and clarity that were second nature to thinkers near the American Revolution
The government never started any enterprise; it does not keep the country free. It did not settle the West. It does not educate. The chapter of the American people accomplished it all. I would have done more if the government got out of the way.
Today we are faced with some of the same issues about control. The Government takes our labor (money) and decides who and what wars to fight and how to spend the rest with or with our consent.
It is a book about convections of a man’s right and wrong (not government) and the fight for injustice.