In Walden, Thoreau wrote, “I desire that there may be as many different persons in the world as possible.” The Thoreau Society likewise recognizes that the contributions of all will continue to result in a more vital organization and a more vital world.
The Thoreau Society exists to stimulate interest in and foster education about Thoreau’s life, works, legacy and his place in his world and in ours, challenging all to live a deliberate, considered life.
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The Thoreau Society is the oldest and largest organization devoted to an American author and is dedicated to promoting Thoreau’s life and works through education, outreach, and advocacy.
Established in 1941, the Thoreau Society has long contributed to the dissemination of knowledge about Thoreau by collecting books, manuscripts, and artifacts relating to Thoreau and his contemporaries, by encouraging the use of its collections, and by publishing articles in two Society periodicals. The mission of the Society is to stimulate interest in and foster education about Thoreau’s life, works, and philosophy and his place in his world and ours; to encourage research on Thoreau’s life and writings; to act as a repository for Thoreauviana and material relevant to Thoreau; and to advocate for the preservation of Thoreau Country.
Henry David Thoreau saw the exploitation of people and of nature as two sides of the same coin of injustice and oppression.
The Thoreau Society continues our namesake’s struggle to open all eyes to social and environmental injustice, and to end blindness to the consequences of unchecked racism, climate change, and other threats to individual freedom, democratic equality, and social justice in the United States and around the world. As a community devoted to Thoreau’s legacy, we are a work-in-progress, committed to the perpetual challenge of improving the Thoreau Society as an embodiment—and a promoter—of these ideals.