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Uses and Abuses of an American Icon
Thoreau in an Age of Crisis reconsiders the relevance of 19th-century-American naturalist, philosopher, and social reformer Henry David Thoreau to our troubled present.
This new anthology collects the work of fourteen leading scholars from various disciplines. They consider Thoreau’s life and work in light of contemporary concerns regarding racism, climate change, environmental policy, and political strife. They review Thoreau’s trajectory as a scientist and literary artist, as well as his evolving attitudes toward Native American cultures. Its essaysists also consider Thoreau’s acoustics, concepts of play, and impact on later writers. Most provocatively, they reveal a vulnerable and empathetic Thoreau, a far cry from the distanced and misanthropic critic often portrayed in popular culture.