This summation of his life’s work, published posthumously in 1862, became a seminal influence in the modern environmental movement and is no less relevant today than 150 years ago. “Above all, we cannot afford not to live in the present,” he wrote. He extolled walking as a delightful and necessary idleness, an antidote to the burdens of civilization, a means of immersing ourselves in nature and awakening to the moment.
“Walking” is recognized by most scholars as Thoreau’s “other” masterpiece, Walden in a more concise form. In the introduction of this edition, Adam Tuchinsky accessibly and engagingly unpacks the essay’s nineteenth-century associations, highlights the startling modernity of its sentiments, and reveals why Thoreau remains the towering figure in the history of American nature writing. Exquisite contemporary nature photographs curated by Denise Froehlich grace this handsome book.
B&W nature photos from Kurito Koichiro and other fine art photographers captioned with memorable lines from Thoreau’s writings.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. ”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden