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La désobéissance civile

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  11,512 ratings  ·  215 reviews
Poète, essayiste, mémorialiste, Thoreau est l'auteur de l'inoubliable Walden ou la Vie dans les bois. Près de cent cinquante ans après sa parution, La Désobéissance civile, qui s'ouvre sur cette pensée toujours actuelle : « Le meilleur gouvernement est celui qui gouverne le moins », demeure l'un des plus beaux pamphlets contre l'Etat qui, d'André Gide à la Beat Generation, ...more
Paperback, 63 pages
Published by Mille et une nuits (first published 1849)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways

My censored review of this classic call to arms can now be seen at my personal blog.

It is a shame that this kind of thought-policing is okay with so many people. "I don't want to think about it" is a fast way not to have permission to think. At all.

But I suppose that's okay with a lot of people.
Written for days past, written for today. Thoreau's discontent with the government is a present issue around the world... And it should be here. So many of our legislators, as in Thoreau's time, are not skilled at legislation and are so disconnected from the people and our needs. I think the title of the mini-book leads some to believe that Thoreau is completely anti-government - not true. He says time and again that a government that is worthy of his respect is one that he will live under. He a ...more
I would love to have met this man in person. What a brilliant wit and iron nerve to say what he did, when he did, and how he did, to whom he did. For the contemporary patriot who doesn't quite know where he stands, this work will test his devotion, and force an analysis of his political thinking.
Sono nato troppo in alto per essere posseduto,
per essere il secondo, al controllo,
o l'utile servo e strumento
di qualsiasi stato sovrano del mondo.

L'idea del potere reale di un Governo è la più grande fandonia messa in atto dall'umanità. Purtroppo Thoreau è un genio ed è quindi destinato ad una visione del mondo troppo complicata per i suoi contemporanei e troppo moderna per la nostra contemporaneità.

Se quest'anno un migliaio di persone non pagassero le tasse non si tratterebbe di un'azione viol
Anti-system and other delusional ideas that will never happen.....just shut up and get a job you 30 year old teenager...

Civil disobedience was a quick read and to the point (much like my sex life). Henry David Thoreau states when the majority rules, in the case of democracy, rarely is the majority just. Democracy relies on physical strength in numbers, rather than what is just. He pretty much brings to question the next step beyond democracy as a political system. Which he envisions is the enlig
Jacq Jardin
I didn't think I would enjoy reading this. I did, though, and I'm sure glad I picked it up. Written in a very articulate manner, the paper is enjoyable, convincing, inspiring and stimulating all at once. Thoreau's strong moral convictions and high respect for the individual are evident in each line. Some of my favorites are:

"Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison."

"The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to
I wonder what Thoreau would think of the Tea Party.

Thoreau rejects government of most types and fails to pay taxes as a protest mainly against slavery and the Mexican War (from what I gather), which indeed are noble reasons to reject supporting a compulsory tax. If more people had been like Thoreau, slavery would have been abolished decades earlier than it was. That being said, I think Thoreau would have disdained the Tea Party movement since it seems to only be about angry people vaguely compla
(This is a long post which can also be found here:

I had meant to read up on Thoreau for quite some time now, and took the opportunity yesterday to read the Project Gutenberg text of Civil Disobedience on my Kindle. I found the essay well-conceived, enjoyable, and dripping with an arrogance that only comes with a supreme confidence in one’s intellect, moral standing, and social status. That said, while I was impressed by Thoreau’s well-articulated respect
Ex Libris
A thought provoking book that invokes the paradox of American political history and it's long preoccupation with the triad of freedom/slavery/taxation and an interesting read in the time of the Tea Party.
On the one hand, Thoreau has clearly identified two of the great evils of American political history, slavery and, here in the guise of the Mexican American War, expansionist warfare. His desire to sever himself from any complicity in these wrongs is laudable, as is his willingness to seek out d
Alexis Medina
Short but thought provoking essay. I believe this book can be summarized with this quote:

"There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly"

Jan 21, 2013 Rowena marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, essays
Mentioned in Dr. King's autobiography
I am a huge fan of Henry David Thoreau. I found Walden inspirational, and Civil Disobedience is a similar, thoughtful work. However, though the ideals are as clearly presented as any essay one could read today, the concepts inherent in this work are not even remotely possible. It struck me as almost amusing that Thoreau would have gladly gone to jail for his principles, but jail, and indeed all of institutions of the United States of America, would be unrecognizable in its present state to our f ...more
Dans cet ouvrage, l'auteur fait un plaidoyer passionné de la liberté individuelle, par opposition au pouvoir de l'État. Il établit des hypothèses fortes sur la façon dont l'État serait plus efficace, s'il avait moins de pouvoir sur ses citoyens. Thoreau inaugure la pensée courent "moins de règles, c'est mieux", avec sa sentence "Le gouvernement le meilleur est celui qui gouverne le moins". il développe aussi une forte critique du gouvernement des États-Unis d'Amérique de son temps, en critiquant ...more
Interesting to revisit this brief volume 40 years after first reading it. When I read Thoreau as a college student, I loved him uncritically in the way many of my anti-Vietnam war comrades did.

Re-reading in the Tea Party era was quite a different experience, somewhat akin to watching "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" a few years back and realizing it really was not the hilarious movie I thought it was when I was a kid.

At this point, Thoreau probably would appeal more to Glen Beck than he does to m
Građanski neposluh
He has some wonderful essays, although it must be remembered that he had few personal responsibilities & no family to support. He was too self-centered for a wife & children. I believe he is sincere, if impractical. I think he draws the lines rather tight for the real world some times, but maybe it is that attitude that allowed things to go so wrong since his day...

I've seen him labeled an Anarchist, but I believe he was a Libertarian. He wanted a better government that needed to govern
O que nos leva hoje em dia a ler Thoreau?
Uns lerão instigados pela curiosidade em saber porque razão líderes de movimentos pacifistas como Martin Luther King e Ghandi reconheciam à obra e pensamento de Thoreau uma posição tão imprescindível e influente na própria mensagem que procuravam transmitir.
Outros fá-lo-ão no seguimento do filme aclamado pela crítica "Into the wild" cujo protagonista ensaia um regresso à natureza - onde tudo é mais puro e mais autêntico - e que na jornada que o leva ao co
Thoreau is always amazing in his profundity, his wit and humor, and his deep sincerity. This collection includes Thoreau's more political essays, related to American slavery and the ways in which we enslave ourselves to connection and conformity in our everyday life - these essays are every bit as relevant as they were the day they were written. While Thoreau's high-mindedness can at times come across as condescending to readers, but he held himself no less to his idealist standards, and if read ...more
Nick Black
Despicable. Insipid. Nauseating. I could go on like this for a minute, but doubt you really need me to. Reading this at 15 set me up for a lifetime of not ever wanting to sound like Henry David Thoreau.
Nov 22, 2009 Kyle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: politics
I love the essay Civil Disobedience. This is probably the 10th time I've read it, and I still always learn something new from it that I didn't quite grasp before.
"El Estado nunca se enfrenta voluntariamente con la conciencia intelectual o moral de un hombre sino con su cuerpo, con sus sentidos. No se arma de honradez o de inteligencia, sino que recurre a la simple fuerza física.

Yo no he nacido para ser violentado. Seguiré mi propio camino. Veremos quién es más fuerte. ¿Qué fuerza tiene la multitud? Solo pueden obligarme aquellos que obedecen alguna ley superior a la mía. Me obligan a ser como ellos. Yo no oigo que a los hombres les obliguen a vivir de ta
Jill Nelson
Love Thoreau, whether he's talking about nature or politics. Yay transcendentalism!
The real hits here are "Walking," "Autumnal Tints," "Night and Moonlight," "Life Without Principle," "A Plea for Captain John Brown," and of course "Civil Disobedience." The rest of it is fine, but that batch of essays I found truly memorable (also available to read without wading through superfluous content at, which I only discovered recently). I had previously read Walking and Wild Apples, which I have reviewed more thoroughly below.


Reading Thoreau after reading Maril
Joann Bozek
Thoreau 's essays were written in a time of great distrust for government policies and "laws" to which he was no fan of, to put it simply! I enjoy reading Thoreau, his philosophy on government applies to the same issue to which we face today ! I am amazed each time I read this book and so disappointed in the essay I wrote in college for a political theory class! Thoreau 's political theories today would be New York Times best sellers as he points out quite poignantly how the interference of gove ...more
Dr Koura Gibson
Henry Thoreau's Slavery in Mass" was tell telling. An essay done in 1854 about slavery in the state of Mass was a fascinating read. To learn about Anthony Burns and how he was on trial in Boston was fascinating. Not to mention Thoreau's view on how the abolitionists of Boston gathered behind Burn's side of the trial.

The rendition or return of Anthony Burns to slavery in Virginia was one of the antebellum period’s most dramatic fugitive slave cases. Burns had fled to Boston and faced ar
In questo breve testo Thoreau ha riversato il suo spirito di grande umanità, superiore alla maggioranza delle persone vissute nella sua epoca. Le sue parole somigliano a fendenti in grado di spaccare le teste dure come pietre dei più ortodossi schiavisti dell'Ottocento. Il suo metodo fu colpire senza violenza. Il suo pensiero ispirò personaggi dediti al perseguimento della giustizia e della pace, come il Mahtma Gandhi e Martin Luter King. Una forza di attrazione che supera la potenza di un milia ...more
Michael Rhode
From Slavery in Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau

"They who have been bred in the school of politics fail now and always to face the facts. Their measures are half measures and make-shifts, merely. They put off the day of settlement indefinitely, and meanwhile, the debt accumulates." - reminds me of present-day Congress.

"I would remind my countrymen, that they are to be men first, and Americans only at a late and convenient hour." - I believe him to mean that we should draw our identity from who
Andrea Atzori
"Se un uomo ha il pensiero, l'immaginazione e la fantasia liberi, se ciò che non è non gli appare mai per molto tempo come se fosse ciò che è, il suo cammino non può essere fatalmente interrotto dalla stoltezza di governanti o riformatori. [...] La verità è sempre in armonia con sé stessa, non si preoccupa principalmente di quella giustizia che può consistere nel commettere ingiustizie."

Mi fa sempre sorridere il leggere recensioni su Thoreau, come se si stesse commentando un pezzo di saggistica
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  • Self-Reliance and Other Essays
  • Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism
  • The Basic Political Writings
  • Letter from the Birmingham Jail
  • Common Sense
  • The Conquest of Bread
  • Selected Philosophical Writings
  • The Subjection of Women
  • Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican
  • God and the State
  • Essays: Moral, Political and Literary
  • Anarchism and Other Essays
  • The Federalist Papers
  • Elements of the Philosophy of Right
  • Two Treatises of Government
  • Democracy in America
Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau)was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, philosopher, and abolitionist who is best known for 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,
More about Henry David Thoreau...
Walden Walden & Civil Disobedience Thoughts from Walden Pond Walking A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers/Walden/The Maine Woods/Cape Cod (Library of America #28)

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