In the spring of 2017, I walked from Manhattan to Concord, to celebrate both Thoreau’s life and the publication of Expect Great Things. In The Road to Walden I dialogue with both Henry and the New England landscape – both past and present.
When Henry 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. Aiming to emulate and extend Thoreau’s experiment in radical self-education, I alternate between personal anecdotes from my walking pilgrimage and “traveler” encounters and episodes told by Thoreau. Via twelve “injunctions” – distillations of seminal stories about overcoming convention and stasis – I invite readers to walk out of bounds in their daily lives.