Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) was an American author, intellectual and political dissident most famous for his works Walden and Civil Disobedience. An active abolitionist and naturalist, Thoreau is best remembered for his theory of civil disobedience, which foregrounded the work of figures such as Mohandas Ghandi and Martin Luther King.
'Thoreau was a great writer, philosopher, poet, and withal a most practical man, that is, he taught nothing he was not prepared to practise in himself. ... He went to gaol for the sake of his principles and suffering humanity. His essay has, therefore, been sanctified by suffering. Moreover, it is written for all time. Its incisive logic is unanswerable.' Mohandas Gandhi
'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.' Martin Luther King, Jr