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The Heart of Thoreau's Journals

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
The conflict between scientific observation and poetry, reflections on abolition, transcendental philosophy, other concerns are explored in this superb general selection from Thoreau's voluminous Journal. Here are "...the choicest fruits of Thoreau..." — Nation.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 1st 1961 by Dover Publications (first published 1920)
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Larry Hansen
Nov 20, 2014 Larry Hansen rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-lit, science
This book took me several months to read but was worth it. Thoreau jumps back and forth between observations about nature and comments about life, people, society, and politics in an impressive way that only someone free of the rat race could make.
Since reading his journal I have been much more conscious of nature and simple changes and sightings are now interesting, and even fascinating.
Warning: Definitely doesn't read like a novel and doesn't flow like Walden, but it is worth the effort if you
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Josh
Feb 18, 2008 Josh rated it really liked it
Thoreau is his usual ornery/visionary self in these journals: always complaining about something. Interesting to think of the different 19th century "journal styles": Thoreau seems closer to Emerson, for example, than the Englishman Francis Kilvert, though all three of their notebooks are similarly obsessed with nature.

Nature for Americans is something to hang your hat on, and that's what so hilarious to me about this book. Here's Thoreau, proto-hippie, inventor of American wilderness, and he t
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Emily
Aug 27, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature
Leaves out the naturalists' observations, if which I would have liked a few examples included (but they are easy enough to find online). Some surprisingly heartbreaking passages on broken friendships as he got older. I skimmed thru some of this as I was mostly grabbing excerpts for an assignment, but kept getting caught up and reading bits unrelated to my project, so I guess that means it's pretty good.
michael
Sep 15, 2008 michael rated it really liked it
The blurb says his journals are regarded as his best work. I think that's unfair to Walden. I say read Walden - his great great book - so much more than you expect and so much more independent and rebellious than society's idea of Thoreau would suggest; for more - read the journals.
Heather Garcia Queen
Dec 23, 2008 Heather Garcia Queen rated it it was amazing
I read this book in college, with a professor who has studied Thoreau's work for years. What an incredible experience-- reading it with him but also the piece itself!
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I learned so much about Thoreau from reading this book.
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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.

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“As the least drop of wine tinges the whole goblet, so the least particle of truth colors our whole life. It is never isolated, or simply added as treasure to our stock. When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before.” 7 likes
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