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The Revolutionary Genius of Walden

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0112
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Illustration from Walden book cover

Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854) is one of America’s greatest books. It is part a celebration of nature, part critique of New England civilization as the Industrial Revolution began, part manifesto for simplicity and a life of minimalism, and part self-help book.

Award-winning historian, author, and public humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson has made a lifelong study of Walden. He acknowledges that Thoreau can be annoying, that he was not quite as fully off the grid as he seemed, and that the book’s great opening chapter, “Economy,” is a challenge.

Join Jenkinson as he clears a path for readers that leads to a full appreciation of one of the most beautiful, transcendent, and indeed revolutionary books in the American literary canon. There may be something about hearing a different drummer after all. 

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.