A renowned transcendentalist writer and radical, Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, where he spent most of his life. He is best known for his essay “Resistance to Civil Government” (1849), a provocative assertion of individualism, and the book Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854), a reflection on the spiritual value of simple living. Thoreau started his intellectual career in 1837 after he graduated from Harvard University and returned to Concord. He befriended Ralph Waldo Emerson, ...

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