No, Thoreau Was Not a Hypocrite

A good read and observations about some shallow and poorly thought-out attacks on the philosopher of “taking it easy”.

thoreau1I think, like many reactionary arguments, many have missed the point.

The Gazine


Your average English major of the past decade has decided to dismiss the body of Henry David Thoreau’s work with one scandalous factoid: Thoreau’s mother did his laundry. For some reason, even the well-read think that this is a relevant fact, as if his dependence on friends and family cancelled out his transcendental conclusions.

But you don’t have to be a die-hard Thoreauvian to see the problem with this mama’s-boy attack. Though my dog-eared Walden perpetually floats to the top of my bedside stack, it is not out of blind respect for the Father of Chill that I defend the guy. My only claim to allegiance is that I read his book.

One Richard Smith of the Thoreau Society has my back:

Richard Smith, a die-hard Thoreauvian. Richard Smith, a die-hard Thoreauvian.

It should be obvious to anyone who’s read Walden that Thoreau was not a hermit.  Just the chapter called “Visitors” is…

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