The New York Times

Thoreau and the Legacy of Wilderness

Hold for release: This article may not be posted online, broadcast or published before 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Sunday, July 9, 2017.

On April 23, 1851, Henry David Thoreau spoke at the Concord Lyceum about the interrelationship of God, man and nature. It was the opening salvo of the modern American conservation movement. Equating sauntering with absolute freedom, Thoreau, whose “Walden” would be published three years later, ended his oration with eight words that in coming decades helped save the Maine woods, Cape Cod, Yosemite and other treasured American landscapes: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” The sentiment became popularized when The Atlantic published Thoreau’s essay “Walking” in May 1862, with the line as the centerpiece, a month after his death.

This July 12 will be Thoreau’s 200th birthday. Lovers of his back-to-nature musings will flock to the shores

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