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Self-Reliance

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  4,517 Ratings  ·  257 Reviews
Featuring:

- Authentic illustrations and Emerson photos
- Custom cover art
- Active table of contents
- A biography on Emerson

Emerson is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the Transcendentalism movement, and "Self-Reliance" is among his most popular and read essays.

Excerpt:
"Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say 'I think,' 'I am,' b
...more
Kindle Edition, 42 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1841)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
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6.0 stars. This book seriously affected me in a very postive way. It's not really even a book but rather a long essay. Essay or book, it had a profound impact on me. In fact, I was utterly floored while reading this and it has become one of my "All Time Favorites."

Other then gushing and throwing great heaps of praise on the work, I am not sure how best to describe the contents so as to do it justice. If I had to try and sum up Emerson's Self Reliance I would say that it is first and foremost t
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Riku Sayuj
Apr 24, 2014 Riku Sayuj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual, r-r-rs

Shreyaan swadharmo vigunah paradharmaat swanushthitaat; 
Swadharme nidhanam shreyah paradharmo bhayaavahah.

The Bhagavad-Gita, 3.35 (Chapter 3, Verse 35)

[Better is one's own Dharma, though devoid of merit, than the Dharma of another well discharged. Better is even death in one's own Dharma; to attempt the Dharma of another is fraught with danger.]

I felt that Self-Reliance is a book length homage to this verse. Emerson, while talking loftily of originality seems to have not the slightest compunctio
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Loy Machedo
Apr 23, 2012 Loy Machedo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson is a collection of thoughts published by the author in the year 1841. It is indeed a very rare manuscript as it urges its readers to do the unthinkable – trust your gut feeling, your intuition, your common sense, your heart, your spirit and soul – rather than follow the will of the majority or the popular opinion of the masses.

Personally, I consider this, his masterpiece

But herein lies the twist.

I will request you not to read the book.

Simply because this book
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Philip
Apr 17, 2013 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For Emerson, the greatest good is to elevate and worship ones’ self, and the greatest sin is to look outside ones’ self. While who we are is a product of what has come before and will contribute to what will go on, Emerson sees a danger of looking to the past or considering the future in our actions. He preaches that we should have a focus entirely on the present. Being true to ourselves in the moment may cause inconsistencies and misunderstandings, but this is all part of his greater good. Emer ...more
Sanjay Gautam
Aug 16, 2014 Sanjay Gautam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*****
one of the greatest works I've ever read!
Soplada
Jun 18, 2016 Soplada rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.”


This essay was waiting for me at this time of my life as a respond to my need at this strange stage that am undergoing beside its being required among the 'Comparative Lit' texts.
I quote some others;

“My life is for itself and not for spectacle.”
This is a good bomb for our societies ha-ha! :D
http://67.media.tumblr.com/8faa2a16ac66db2532040f25d356aaa4/tumblr_nmjpy44xlz1snlw9ao2_1280.jpg

“It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after t
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Hans
Emerson has a way with words that I find seldom matched by others. His prose is rich with imagery that it feels as though I am constructing a physical edifice out of his ideas as I read. My own bias is apparent in the fact that part of the reason I like Emerson so much is that my own meditations on life are similar to his. This particular book, for which is he is most well known for, emphasizes that nothing of true value can come from without and only from within. I can see though how his philos ...more
Derrick
Feb 24, 2013 Derrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life. A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in suc ...more
Johnrh
Nov 12, 2012 Johnrh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comments and passages.

Although this 1841 essay is somewhat imbued with “Divine Providence”, Emerson makes a cogent as well as eloquent argument for being your own person. As per John Ruskin, you must read this 19th century English work “letter by letter”, but it is worth it. A few sample passages:

“Ne te quaesiveris extra.”

(“Do not seek outside yourself.”)


“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart, is true for all men- that is genius. Speak your late
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Aaron Goldfarb
May 25, 2011 Aaron Goldfarb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read "Self-Reliance," I didn't. It was assigned summer reading before my senior year AP English class and I was too busy golfing and playing pick-up basketball to waste my summer on a book written by a dead guy with weird sideburns. At age 23, I read it the second time, printing out a public domain edition using a temp job's laser printer then plowing through it on my lunch break. This week was my third time to read it and by far the most valuable thanks to the Domino Project's ...more
Drew
Jan 10, 2015 Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One word to describe both Emerson and his essay Self Reliance, profound. If you have been board as of late and feel like you want to intellectually challenge yourself and think, then I suggest you pick up Emerson. I've been saying to a few friends of mine how I've been mentally unsatisfied with some of the books we've been reading in our book club and how I've wanted something to challenge me more and make me think, well this is where i found it. Self Reliance is great and don't think your gonna ...more
Andy
Mar 21, 2016 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the source of some famous quotes. It's an interesting read because Emerson is trying to be shocking and most people will disagree with something in here, so it will give the reader something to think about.
The central question is whether history is all about a few "great men" like Julius Caesar or whether it is also about all the little people who created the roads, the armies, the social institutions that made Rome, and which Caesar then tyrannically took for himself. If you think that
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John Gurney
Feb 19, 2015 John Gurney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Self-Reliance, though a century and a half old, is full of timeless wisdom, written in Ralph Waldo Emerson's memorable prose. May more of us have the fortitude and bravery to be self-reliant in thought and deed!

Some of my favorite quotes:

"Whoso would be a man, must be a non-conformist."

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."

"I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead in
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Maryam Rajee
Sep 08, 2015 Maryam Rajee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essay
"It's easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it's easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
Tusharika
Sep 28, 2016 Tusharika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string."
This is one of Emerson's greatest essays where he has emphasized on individualism and the souls journey to peace and he writes all this with such eloquence and tact that his words and sentences leave a very lasting impression. His thoughts are so progressive and radical for his times and he constantly makes use of rhetorical question that makes the writing even more influential. -"Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the u
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Sokcheng Seang
Admittedly, this was the first time I read Emerson's work. I was in awed with his use of language. As a non-born English speaker, I have quite a lot of difficulties trying to understand his points most of the times. However, I have come to the conclusion that this whole essay wants to prove only a handful of statements- namely, "be true to yourself", "trust your guts", "contradict yourself", "do not conform".

While these advices are helpful in trying to establish your own thoughts, it borders too
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Kevin
Oct 20, 2012 Kevin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I THUS PROUDLY DENOUNCE LOGIC - What Mr. Emerson is really trying to say.

I would like to start this review with a quote. Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote thusly: “Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think’, ‘I am’, but quotes some saint or sage”.

I think - I say again, I think - Mr. Emerson is a good writer; his way with words is undeniably extraordinary. As a philosopher, however, he demonstrates nothing but utter failure in this essay. “Self-Reliance” is
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Ken Moten
Since I have already given my main thoughts on Emerson and his prose-style in my review of The American Scholar, I can be laconic on this essay.

This essay is very simply an exhortation by Emerson to be yourself and not to conform. This seems like it would have been much more effective in the 19th century or even the 1950s, but now its bite has dulled because of how individualized our society is or at least pretends to be. This could have had a bigger impact on me if the prose was not STILL so d
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Sonny Wyatt
Aug 06, 2012 Sonny Wyatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Our age is retrospective, it builds the tombs of the fathers... why can't we have a religion of revelation to us instead of the history of theirs." with this opener I was hooked. Emerson's idea was to convey the necessity of a deep belief and high regard of self and the intellect of your own mind. Regard more highly that new thing which you can bring into the world over the inventions, and innovations of existing things, or thoughts brought forth by others. Follow your inner constitution rather ...more
Korakot Chuawong
Incredible idea!. The best way of living in nowaday society.
John Spillane
Maybe it was the narrator or the dated language was too hard for me to follow but boy did this miss. I'll probably listen to it again because it's short and I assume the problem is mine. The final line "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles." and the famous "hobgoblin of little minds" bits were the only lines that made me perk up.
Ezgi Deniz Çelik
Dec 28, 2015 Ezgi Deniz Çelik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
Makalenin sonunda Hz. Ali'nin sözünü görünce çok şaşırdım: "Thy lot or portion of life," said the Caliph Ali, "is seeking after thee; therefore be at rest from seeking after it." -siz ne iseniz ve neye layıksanız, onu arayıp durmanıza gerek yoktur, çünkü o layıkınız sizi, arayıp durmaktadır.-
Leah Angstman
May 13, 2016 Leah Angstman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is really tedious and bloated and booorrrring. I must honestly tell you that the language is so overly-flowery, pretentious, rambling, and disorganized, that I don't actually know what the essay is about. The gist is to be your own man and to stand out from the crowd, but with that is also the bashing of society's norms, a patriotic(?) attempt to get Americans to be better than people in other countries, a diatribe on religion that (I guess) culminates into you having 'one maker' who made y ...more
Jowayria Rahal
Jan 20, 2014 Jowayria Rahal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
Emerson and Thoreau are easier compared than contrasted since they both were proponents of the same trend; transcendentalism_ the idea that man, by meditating the self and examining nature can transcend his humanity and fuse into the soul of God to end up being one with Him.

Their themes are pretty similar : know yourself, trust yourself, examine nature to figure out what/who you are, do not rely on the government and man is inherently good. They both_as transcendentalists- were non-conformists
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Alex
Feb 25, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have the "Domino Project" version, put out by Seth Godin and co. I loved the extra quotes they added, and the selection of main points from the essay.

This will be a book that stays on my counter. Because it's a reminder, a cold bucket of water to the face, in a world where media and other people's opinion are broadcast at an indigestible rate. The message is summed up as "trust yourself," and "stop looking outward" for guidance. Find your inner spark and stoke the flame. I believe in self edu
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Mario Tomic
Oct 15, 2014 Mario Tomic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read on trusting yourself and your own intuition rather than automatically following popular opinions no matter who they come from. This book is a great balance in terms that it expands your mind to go back to the realization that all great people built themselves around having free minds not trapped by popular teachings. The book itself is not easy to read as a lot of the lessons are compressed and explained in 19th century style of writing. On the flip side it's not very long so you can ...more
Jenevieve
Jan 16, 2015 Jenevieve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
Review first published on My Blog. Check out all my reviews there.

Mr. Emerson wrote of his beliefs that within each of us, there is a greatness possible but it can only be found by being true to ourselves and foregoing conforming to societal norms simply because they are expected of us. He speaks to how we often second-guess ourselves and the value of our thoughts until we receive validation from outside forces. "To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private h
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Sarah
Jan 12, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An attack on all the sheep of the world! Emerson stresses figuring out the world for yourself, doing what you feel is the right thing to do right now (even if you haven't always felt that way), honesty, living in the present, and never caving to things simply because other people do.

Full of great points, GREAT quotes and funny lines. The irreverent Emerson gets a little extreme for me sometimes ("If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own."
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Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
Totally digging Emerson! He was one smart fellow! He said things like-

"Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string."

"What I must do, is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinio
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Claudia Alonso Martínez
"To be great is to be misunderstood. [...] Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles". Emerson, I thank you for writing this masterpiece.
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in 1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston. Educated at Harvard and the Cambridge Divinity School, he became a Unitarian minister in 1826 at the Second Church Unitarian. The congregation, with Christian overtones, issued communion, something Emerson refused to do. "Really, it is beyond my comprehension," Emerson once said, when asked by a seminary professor whether he believed in God. (Quoted ...more
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“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” 3058 likes
“Envy is ignorance,
Imitation is Suicide.”
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