Henry David Thoreau remains an enduring figure, not only in the field of American literature, but also as a man who lived his life deliberately and out-loud, so others could by his measure find what it means to be a human being - what it means to be alive. As a writer he put pen to paper to find what it meant to live, and thereby, to communicate his meaning and his life. Thoreau is best remembered in terms of his conviction -- his unwavering faith that he could understand the mystery and translate the essence of Life. Through a study of Thoreau's trail of meaningful words, one embarks on a path to trace the rare example of a true man of letters who wrote not to display his wit or talent or mastery of language, but who wrote to convey his conviction -- his very raison d'etre -- so that others could find a meaning and a fulfillment that comes only after a passionate and thorough search. Thoreau was a spiritual trailblazer, an enlightened one, a Visionary. Generations will continue to follow his lead. This book contains Thoreau's two most famous essays: Civil Disobedience and Walden. It also contains an introductory essay by J. M. Beach, which investigates Thoreau's legacy in American literature.