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Kevin Dann

12 Life Lessons from a Sojourn to Thoreau’s Cabin

The acclaimed author of Expect Great Things traverses on foot from Manhattan to the site of Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond often retracing steps walked by Thoreau himself, and unlocks the practical principles of the mystic's life in the woods.

When Henry David Thoreau launched his experiment in living at Walden Pond, he began by walking beyond the narrow limits of his neighbors, simply by putting himself at a mile remove from Concord's bourgeois epicenter - and a thousand-mile remove from stasis, complacency, and conformity. Kevin Dann emulates and extends Thoreau's experiment in radical self-education. Alternating between personal anecdotes from his spring 2017 walking pilgrimage and other "traveler" encounters and episodes told by Thoreau, Dann structures his book around 12 "injunctions" - distillations of seminal stories about overcoming convention and stasis.

Historian, naturalist, and troubadour Kevin Dann is the acclaimed author of Expect Great Things: The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau, and books including Across the Great Border Fault: The Naturalist Myth in America and Lewis Creek Lost and Found. He received his PhD from Rutgers University in American History and Environmental History. Dann has taught at Rutgers, University of Vermont, and the State University of New York. In the spring of 2009, he walked from Montreal to Manhattan to commemorate the 400th anniversaries of Hudson's and Champlain's voyages, and, having crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, decided to make his home there.

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