Begun in 1837 at the recommendation of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau's Journal covers a period of 25 years until just before his death. The work provided much raw material for his books, and it remains a fascinating record of his thought as it developed over time. The complete Journal comprises 14 volumes and runs more than two million words. This edition offers a delightful one-volume sampler of some of the best passages from the larger work. Carefully chosen by noted Thoreau scholar Walter Harding, the selections include masterly meditations on society, nature, man (often Thoreau himself), and other subjects—expressed with verve and vigor in some of the most poetic prose in American literature. Readers will find this book the perfect introduction to the great naturalist and a tantalizing taste of the manifold delights to be found in his writings.