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Thoreau's Walden Free Audiobook


Free Resource (#636) - August 29th, 2008
Today's Free Resource


Taking a long drive this Labor Day weekend? Listen to this free 15-hour audio book by Henry David Thoreau. Gord MacKenzie over at LibriVox has narrated this entire American classic and his narration sounds pretty good.

Loaded with wisdom, Thoreau reminds us in this book that "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them", and Thoreau tries to point us towards rising above this fate. This book is available on MP3 download from LibriVox.


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Civil Disobedience & Life Without Principle

Henry David Thoreau was an American author, naturalist and philosopher. While best known for his lasting classic Walden, his prolific work as an essayist also earned him worldwide renown as a leading light in American literature. Included in this selection are two of his most famous essays:

Civil Disobedience is Thoreau's primary essay on how to interact with Government. Here the author argues that a citizen must always uphold conscience over what is prescribed by law. Never one to accept the status quo, Thoreau says that if called, we must all disobey a system that is inherently prone to corruption and that even personal endangerment may be needed in order do what is right. An inspiration to luminaries such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., this essay is one of the core American writings on government.

Life Without Principle is an essay in which Thoreau lays out his program for right living. Included here are his ideas on how to approach interpersonal communication, modes of work, financial livelihood and other codes of conduct one may face in life.

Available on MP3 Download.

Listen to a free sample of: Civil Disobedience & Life Without Principle

Henry David Thoreau Audio
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Henry David Thoreau on LearnOutLoud.com

Henry David Thoreau was an American philosopher, born on July 12, 1817 in Massachusetts. The man showed an analytical nature at an early age, often being called the "Judge" by his peers and enrolling in Harvard College at sixteen. While most Harvard graduates pursued careers in law, business, or medicine, Thoreau was uninterested in these occupations and started teaching at a public school in Concord. After Ralph Waldo Emerson took a special interest in him, Thoreau took part in a circle of influential thinkers that included Margaret Fuller and Julian Hawthorne.

Shortly thereafter, Thoreau began contributing essays and poems for publication. Initially, his thoughts followed Transcendentalism, a school of thought promoted by his peers. After several years of doing odd jobs, Thoreau decided to focus almost solely on his writing. For two years, he lived in a forest near Walden Pond, a period in his life that would form the inspiration for Walden, one of his most famous works based on Thoreau's ideology of simple living. Thoreau's other beliefs included a resistance to civil obedience in the event of moral opposition and a strong moral disagreement with slavery. His works comprise some of the sources for modern day environmentalism, and he continued to advocate his philosophies through published journals and poetry until his death in 1862.

For insight into how Thoreau believed government should be treated, try Civil Disobedience, which posits that personal conscience should take precedence over civil law. This and Walden, two of Thoreau's most famous works, are available as audio MP3 downloads. If you're interested in more of Thoreau's essays try out his seasonal Autumnal Tints available on audio download.

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