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Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau, Henry David (1817–62), U.S. writer, naturalist, and abolitionist. His book Walden (1854) was a philosophical essay that recounted Thoreau's experiences living close to nature in a cabin at Walden Pond, near Concord, Mass. His influential essay “Civil Disobedience” promoted the concept of passive resistance that inspired leaders such as Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Thoreau's place in literature is as a major voice among the New Transcendentalists, led by his mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson. Self-direction and an intimate understanding of nature, as found within and outside of the individual, were Thoreau's consistent themes.

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