Henry David Thoreau's journal was his life's work: the daily practice that accompanied his daily walks; the source from which he drew his books and essays; and perhaps the most searching investigation ever made into the everyday environment, seasonal changes, and the ecology or interrelations among different facets of nature and the moods and mind of the observer. It is a treasure trove of some of the finest prose in English and is deeply beloved by its readers-but at roughly two million surviving words, or 7,000 pages, it is t often read. This reader's edition, commissioned specially for New York Review Books, is the largest one-volume edition of the Journals ever published. It draws on the entirety of the Journals : rather than collecting highlights out of context, it captures the scope, dailiness, rhythms, and variety of the work as a whole. Thoreau's infinitely curious mind ranges over nearly every phemen of nature and life in nineteenth-century New England-the Journals are a rich source of social, environmental, natural, and cultural history-but he looks inward as well as outward, for It is in vain to write on the seasons unless you have the seasons in you.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), the author of Walden and On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, was born and spent his life in Concord, Massachusetts. Damion Searls is the author of Everything You Say Is True, a travelogue, and What We Were Doing and Where We Were Going: Stories. John R. Stilgoe is the Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the History of Landscape at the Visual and Environmental Studies Department of Harvard University.