Series: (Classic Social Commentary Series, 1) | Author: Henry David Thoreau | ISBN: 0974086819 : 9780974086811 | Format: Paperback | Size: 140x215mm | Pages: 43 | Weight: .058 Kg. | Published: Presa Press – December 2003 | Availability: In Print | Subjects: PHILOSOPHY
by Thoreau as been one of the most historically significant and influential essays ever written. Since its initial publication in 1849 is has inspired resistance movements from the Danish WWII underground in the 1940s to the South African anti-apartheid movement at the end of the 20th Century. Seminal leaders from Mahatma Ghandi to Martin Luther King have found encouragement and enlightenment in Thoreau’s words.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
noted in his autobiography that his first encounter with the idea of non-violent resistance was reading “On Civil Disobedience” in 1944 while attending Morehouse College. He wrote in his autobiography that it was
Here, in this courageous New Englander’s refusal to pay his taxes and his choice of jail rather than support a war that would spread slavery’s territory into Mexico, I made my first contact with the theory of nonviolent resistance. Fascinated by the idea of refusing to cooperate with an evil system, I was so deeply moved that I reread the work several times.
I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest. The teachings of Thoreau came alive in our civil rights movement; indeed, they are more alive than ever before. Whether expressed in a sit-in at lunch counters, a freedom ride into Mississippi, a peaceful protest in Albany, Georgia, a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, these are outgrowths of Thoreau’s insistence that evil must be resisted and that no moral man can patiently adjust to injustice.
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