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Walden and Civil Disobedience (Anglais) Poche – 3 juillet 2012


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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

'Walden' is an American book written by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance. It details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, a central theme of the American Romantic Period. As Thoreau made clear in his book, his cabin was not in wilderness but at the edge of town, about two miles from his family home. In 'On the Duty of Disobedience' Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Biographie de l'auteur

Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1817. He graduated from Harvard in 1837, the same year he began his lifelong Journal. Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau became a key member of the Transcendentalist movement that included Margaret Fuller and Bronson Alcott. The Transcendentalists' faith in nature was tested by Thoreau between 1845 and 1847 when he lived for twenty-six months in a homemade hut at Walden Pond. While living at Walden, Thoreau worked on the two books published during his lifetime: Walden (1854) and A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849). Several of his other works, including The Maine Woods, Cape Cod, and Excursions, were published posthumously. Thoreau died in Concord, at the age of forty-four, in 1862.

W.S. Merwin has published many highly regarded books of poems, for which he has received a number of distinguished awards—the Pulitzer Prize, Bollingen Award, Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets and the Governor's Award for Literature of the state of Hawaii among them. He has translated widely from many languages, and his versions of classics such as The Poem of the Cid and The Song of Roland are standards.

William Howarth is Professor Emeritus of English at Princeton University. His thirteen books on literature and history include The Book of Concord: Thoreau's Life as a Writer, Walking with Thoreau, and The John McPhee Reader. As "Dana Hand" he collaborates with Anne Matthews on fiction and film, and as co-publishers of Scarlet Oak Press.


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Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 336 pages
  • Editeur : Signet; Édition : Reissue (3 juillet 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0451532163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451532169
  • Dimensions du produit: 10,5 x 2,2 x 17,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 10.908 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par PhilWEB le 20 août 2013
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
"Civil disobedience" : la meilleure arme contre l'oligarchie ploutocratique. Plus de 150 ans après , Henry David Thoreau est toujours d'actualité.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 116 commentaires
41 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The book that started it all? 18 novembre 2001
Par Christo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Compared to books such as "Voluntary Simplicity" by Duane Elgin and similar books, one realises that many of these ideas are nothing new when one reads Walden by Thoreau. In fact, what strikes me is that we as a Western society have not overcome many of the issues pointed out by Thoreau 150 years ago. Thoreau left Concord MA "disdainful of America's growing commercialism and industrialism", the slavish materialism of that society then. One wonders what he'll say if he would see the extend today - in the post Coca-Cola society. But then Thoreau was a man who clearly stepped to his own drum. Becuase of slavery, he refused to support the state on moral grounds. How would his views have been tolerated today?
I am not luddite, but my favourite quote from the book is this: "We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing to communicate". Does this say something about the Internet, newsmedia and our contemporary information overload, or what?
I liked the introduction and footnotes of Meyer. Just enough to provide context and explanation, but never intrusive. This book is as relevant today as it was during Thoreau's lifetime. Highly recommended.
41 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A philosopher sage amongst the Americans 27 avril 2000
Par Sravaniya D. Pecoraro - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Anyone who prefers Emerson above Thoreau surely does so with a view to increasing his own popularity. Thoreau is too outspoken to be liked by everyone--indeed, to identify more with him is a kind of social suicide. But then, Thoreau was ever convinced that he was not here to please anybody, but rather to be authentically what he was.
To find a modern western man who so thoroughly embodies the wisdom of antiquity is as rare as "the tooth of a dragon, or the hair of a phoenix." Henry David Thoreau is such a man. More than a mere combination of past, present and future, he joins together the most mundane, prosaic and ordinary considerations of daily life with the loftiest and noble thoughts of mankind. Furthermore, he perceives the spiritual aspirations and practices of east and west as one coherent whole. He was well acquainted with the classics of both hemispheres--The Tao de Ching, The Bhagavad-gita, Vedic writings, The Iliad and more--and here, distilled for us common folk, is that wisdom as seen from the his viewpoint. Bertrand Russell has given what would seem the crown laurel to Thoreau calling him "a pure romantic"-in contrast to the weak romanticism of Victor Hugo, or the rather soft variety found in Emerson.
During his lifetime, 700 or so of the 1,000 copies he had printed of "Walden" wound up in his parents' attic, ostensibly making him a failure as a writer. Since then he has become a literary god, and without doubt one of the most influential writers of the past 200 years. It was Thoreau's tract entitled Civil Disobedience, written because of his objection to paying tax to the American government--a so-called democracy involved in slave trade, westward expansion, displacement of indigenous population and imperialistic annexation of Mexico--that gave fuel to human rights movements in the 20th Century. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. based their efforts on this small but amazingly powerful essay, which only goes to show that Confucius--one of Thoreau's favorite sage authors--was right; the thought of an intelligent man sitting in his room can kill a king and destroy his country. And so it was that slavery was abolished in the United States, India attained home rule and racial integration in the U.S. progressed.
Since the industrial revolution in the 18th Century, the central goal of western technological society has been economic growth. And to achieve an economic growth that is endless, corporations in the latter half of the 20th century have encouraged consumption that is mindless. But by the dawn of the 21st century, this central project has proven to be obsolete, for nature cannot sustain endless economic growth, and neither can the people in general. Nature has rebelled by refusing to absorb the transgressions against her dignity (pollution), and humanity has expressed insurgence through psychological and physical disease. Dr. Willis Harman has discussed the matter in detail in his book, "Global Mind Change" but, though more than a decade has passed since its publication, the important and timely points that it makes have yet to be assimilated by the public. Thoreau, however, was already tuned in to this problem way back in the 1840's. Astrologers attribute an overlap of a little more than 200 years between astrological ages, and this puts Thoreau in with the new Aquarians.
His observations--on economy, simplicity, learning, human nature, participation mystique when close to nature and the close proximity of God--are unpresuming, candid and at times downright hilarious. I say Henry David Thoreau is a philosopher sage amongst the American transcendentalists, and a man who was not unconcerned about his less educated or enlightened fellows. He took tremendous pains to share himself with us through his writings, and there are many innovations of his that are already being practiced by posterity. Not the least of these is the growing awareness that ADULT EDUCATION for men and women can be a lifelong pursuit. I agree with Dr. Harman that this is on its way to becoming the new central project of western society, known as it is presently by the name, The Personal Growth Movement.
In Walden the seeker will find lucid clues as to what the Aquarian Age is all about, its characteristics and even the means of cultivating the new consciousness. But this is not a book for people who like easy reading. Henry would demand of you that you read it with the same diligence and deliberation as it was written. It took him five years of refinement before he was satisfied with the manuscript. Walden will provide you and your descendants with many more years of pleasure and enlightenment than that.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I've loved it most of my life -- I'm 71 now 20 janvier 2014
Par Patrick Hickey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
As a matter of fact, I've ended up using Walden as an example to emulate in my own life. Well, I'm sure Thoreau would be turning over in his grave if he saw the "simple life" I've come up with. Though my cabin is only 300 square feet, I have a Bose sound system connected to my powerful computer. I can watch my cable TV while working on the computer. I enjoy using an electric refrigerator, electric stove, hot water, a color printer, slide scanner, a "free phone" (Ooma), and two cats (Tweets a black Bombay, and Macoco an actual Egyptian Mau), and so on. Thoreau would probably faint on the spot if he entered my door. But when he got the hang of it, he'd order a dozen priceless books from Amazon.com at a very reasonable price!
19 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The book worked! 10 mars 2014
Par Justin Ebert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Thank's to this book, I officially have no idea as to what i want to do with my life, as my previous aspirations now seem greedy, childish and materialistic. Good job, Henry David. Good job.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Inspiring and Deceiving 23 janvier 2015
Par Simple Citizen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Reviewing this book is complicated. If I had written the review yesterday it would have been mostly negative. I would have compared it to Atlas Shrugged: a few good facts that are oversimplified and mis-applied to everything, surrounded by hundreds of pages of boring monotony.

Today I have quite a different view. This book is a glimpse, a pause, an alternative perspective that is useful and applicable.

Let me explain.

The problem was in my initial assumptions. I've heard of Walden and Thoreau many times in my life. I thought it was about a poor author who decided to stop fighting economic hardship and instead go live on the side of a little pond in the woods by himself so he could sit and think and contemplate and write down his thoughts in a journal. Then he eventually published what he learned while living in solitude in a little shack by a pond.

Then I found out that Henry David Thoreau studied at Harvard, and he could live by the pond for free because his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson owned the land. Thoreau didn't live in solitude, but walked in to town on most summer days and visited friends, neighbors, local farmers, and also had regular visitors to his little self-built cabin. He used tools that he found, like an axe and a boat, and the rest he bought used.

His book is NOT telling people to go live off the land by themselves. He isn't recommending solitude or that society would work if everyone only lived with what they need.

His book is about an experiment.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately.. and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived...I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."
"I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one."

Thoreau never said that living off the land by himself was the best way to live. He said he wished to reduce life to it's most simple form and see what he could learn. After he had learned it - he moved on to a new form of life.

That is where I see the value: The lessons he taught are to be applied to the life we wish to live. We aren't supposed to abandon society and ambition and family and all comforts to live the most simple life possible - but we ARE supposed to see the superfluous parts of our lives. See where we have excess, where we are indebting ourselves, and what we can do without so we can simply enjoy life.

This book is not a page turner. The first 10 pages were great, and the next 20 really were monotonous. It was worth it nonetheless. This book is worth reading, because it made me think and increased my understanding. What more could I want from a book?

The quote which made me think the most was this:
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

That made me realize that med-school didn't cost 4 years, or $200,000. Medical school will have cost me at least 15 years of life when I pay off the last debt. It will cost most doctors 30 years of life.
Not that we don't live while in medical school and internship and residency and fellowship and practice - but we don't live free. We are still bound by medical school and it's debt and it cost me 15 years.

Was it worth it?

My favorite quotes:
“As long as possible live free and uncommitted. It makes but little difference whether you are committed to a farm or the county jail.”
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
"The number of those who own a shelter is a very small fraction of the whole. The rest pay an annual tax."
“Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe.”
“Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.”
“Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.”
"My greatest skill in life has been to want but little”
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
"The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is."
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
"I do not speak to the well-employed... but mainly to the mass of men who are discontented, and idly complaining of the hardness of their lot or of the times, when they might improve them."
"While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings."
“As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs.”
"Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul."
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