Henry Thoreau revisited

Henry Thoreau is perhaps the best-known anti-materialist thinker from the American tradition. But his life belied his formal doctrines:

The popular image of Thoreau is of the lone eccentric contemplating nature at Walden Pond. In fact, he spent only two years and two months there, and while he always preferred to be thinking and writing, he spent much of his life improving his father’s pencil business, surveying land, and otherwise earning money.

Here is the longer account, which is focused more on American attitudes toward materialism than Thoreau. Here are some of Thoreau’s passages on economy, read here also. Here is some biographical information. Alexander Pope was another author who damned commercial incentives while proving a master of them.


Comments for this post are closed