Rediscovering Henry David Thoreau

July 20, 2017

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.” Those famous lines from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” have inspired generations of people, including his new biographer, Laura Dassow Walls. She’s written the first full life of Thoreau in a generation, and on the 200th anniversary of his birth, it’s already being hailed as the definitive biography. But how do we reconcile the nature writer who wrote "Walden" with the political activist who spoke out against slavery? Are they really the same person? Walls says Thoreau struggled between these two parts of himself.