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Walden

by Henry David Thoreau Stephen Fender

In 1845 Henry David Thoreau began a new life, spending most of each week for over two years in a rough hut he built himself on the northwest shore of Walden Pond, just a mile and a half from his home town of Concord, Massachusetts. Walden is Thoreau's autobiographical account of this experiment in solitary living, his refusal to play by the rules of hard work and the accumulation of wealth and, above all, the freedom it gave him to adapt his living to the natural world around him. This new edition traces the sources of Thoreau's reading and thinking and considers the author in the context of his birthplace and his sense of its history - social, economic, and natural. In addition, an ecological appendix provides modern identifications of the myriad plants and animals to which Thoreau gave increasingly close attention as he became acclimatized to his life at Walden. Long-revered by political reformers and environmentalists, Walden is here reassessed by Stephen Fender, whose edition is based on research into the material conditions of Thoreau's life in Concord, and the town's place in the history of mid-nineteenth-century New England. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

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