A literary look at the walls that protect us—and keep us captive
henry david thoreau
Thoreau's beautiful writing, biographer Laura Dassow Walls shows, is scripture waiting to be heard.
Does democracy create good neighbors? Or is it the other way around?
Nature reveals itself as ruptured, as already profaned. To rest into a landscape is to be drawn into an adulterated history.
Books change. They change us individually and collectively. Tom Paine’s direct style convinced countless colonists that it was Common Sense to become an independent nation. Henry David Thoreau lectured New England college students that they were better off hand-crafting knives than they were sitting in stuffy classrooms. He influenced Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Books are also changed.
Chronic illness is like Walden: life is pared down to essentials. But unlike Thoreau, I can’t walk away.