In 1845, when Henry David Thoreau moved into a tiny cabin he built in the woods at Walden Pond, his objective was to conduct a practical and philosophical experiment in living: to simplify his life, to support himself entirely by his own labor, to observe and draw spiritual sustenance from his surroundings. He planted and harvested beans, maintained and improved his cabin, and received guests. He also explored the forests, ponds, and wildlife in the area; took note of natural and man-made sounds; and walked occasionally to the nearby town of Concord, Massachusetts. Just as important, he kept a record of his two years living at the pond, publishing it as Walden; or, Life in the Woods in 1854. In 1846, during this experiment in living, Thoreau refused to pay a mandated poll tax, vowing never to support a government that permitted and protected slavery and that had launched an aggressive war against its Mexican neighbor. When he was arrested and jailed, his neighbors were shocked by his flouting of the law. In his essay “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau argues forcefully that it is the duty of every moral citizen to refuse to cooperate with immoral laws and to be willing to suffer the legal consequences for doing so. Walden and “Civil Disobedience” are among the most influential writings by any American. Walden inspired the modern conservation and environmental movements, as well as the creation of America’s national parks. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. both cited “Civil Disobedience” as the primary source of their ideas on nonviolent protest against injustice.