Henry David Thoreau Photo

Henry David Thoreau

Born: Jul 12, 1817

Death: May 6, 1862

Birthplace: Concord

Profession: Writer

Nationality: France

Henry David Thoreau

Date of Birth : Jul 12, 1817
Date of Death : May 6, 1862
Birth Place : Concord

Henry David Thoreau was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, sage writer and philosopher. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism.He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience influenced the political thoughts and actions of such later figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.Thoreau is sometimes cited as an individualist anarchist as well as an inspiration to anarchists. Though Civil Disobedience calls for improving rather than abolishing government: "I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government" the direction of this improvement aims at anarchism: "That government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."


  • Writer
  • Poet
  • Philosopher

Also known as

  • Thoreau
  • Henry Thoreau
  • Thoreau, Henry David


  • John Thoreau
  • Cynthia Dunbar
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