Thoreau advocates for nonviolent protest in his classic manifesto
Motivated by his disgust with the US government, Henry David Thoreau’s seminal philosophical essay enjoins individuals to stand against the ruling forces that seek to erase their free will. It is the duty of a good citizen, he argues, not only to disobey a bad law, but also to protest an unjust government. His message of nonviolence and appeal to value one’s own conscience over political legislation have resonated throughout American and world history. Peppered with the author’s poetry and social commentary, Civil Disobedience has become a manifesto for civil dissidents, revolutionaries, and protestors everywhere. Indeed, originally so unpopular with readers that Thoreau was forced to buy back over half of the books from his publisher, this work has gone on to inspire the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
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