Disdainful of America's booming commercialism and industrialism, Henry David Thoreau left Concord, Massachusetts, in 1845 to live in solitude in the woods near Walden Pond. Walden, the account of his stay, conveys at once a naturalist's wonder at the commonplace and a Transcendentalist's yearning for spiritual truth and self-reliance. But, even as Thoreau disentangled himself from worldly matters, his musings were often disturbed by his social conscience. Civil Disobedience, also included in this volume, expresses his antislavery and antiwar sentiments, and has influenced non-violent resistance movements worldwide. Both give a rewarding insight into a free-minded, principled and idiosyncratic man.