Thoreau at 200: A Man of Many Passions

No other 19th-century American writer manages to annoy today's readers like Henry David Thoreau. In recent years, prominent writers have described him as “narcissistic” and “inestimably priggish and tiresome.” Even Garrison Keillor, whose laconic humor owes a debt to Thoreau's pungent wit, has called him “a sorehead and a loner.”

Blame it on “Walden.” Thoreau's masterpiece, first published in 1854, still manages to strike a nerve.


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