“no doubt how Thoreau might react to the current administration in Washington… [he] would pick up his pen to skewer them mercilessly, and…”

“Laura Dassow Walls’s exuberant biography, “Henry David Thoreau: A Life,” leaves the reader in no doubt how Thoreau might react to the current administration in Washington, filled as it is with people who deny the established physical science of global warming. Thoreau would pick up his pen to skewer them mercilessly, and— practicing what he preached in his essay “Civil Disobedience” — would probably take to the streets in protest. Born 200 years ago today, Thoreau, like his fellow Transcendentalists, propounded the philosophy of living “deliberately,” by which they meant weighing the moral consequences of one’s actions. We can easily imagine, then, what Thoreau might have to say about those who worship at the altar of fossil fuels, given the indisputable evidence that their combustion is now beginning to disrupt the stability of the climate and the very rhythm of the seasons. “

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— Fen Montaigne, Journalist for New York Times, from review of University of Notre Dame professor and writer Lisa Dassow Wall’s new biography “Henry David Thoreau: A Life


 

Fen Montaigne, journalist

Laura Dassow Wall, author and professor
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