Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, a free audio book on

I downloaded this book in two parts and listened to it 2-3 times in just a few days. It is that good.

Thoreau was jailed for not paying a tax. He chose not to pay the tax because he did not support the US government for its support of slavery and its war with Mexico. Thoreau believed that by funding the government, he was sanctioning its actions, so he opted out.

When he was jailed, he remained defiant and spent his time reflecting on the nature of the state and its use of force. He urges us to withdraw support for illegitimate government, and hints that if everyone did, they would have no room to fill their prisons with all of the non-compliants. His friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, visited him at the jail and asked him what he was doing in there. Thoreau’s response was to question what Emerson was doing “out there.”

The reading of this book is excellent. It is one of those rare moments that I enjoyed the voice of the reader better than my own. He brings Thoreau’s words to life with drama and power. Check them out at:
Part One

Part Two