Founded in 1941, The Thoreau SocietyTM is the oldest and largest organization devoted to an American author.


Henry D. Thoreau

The struggle for social and environmental justice

Henry David Thoreau saw the exploitation of people and of nature as two sides of the same coin of injustice and oppression. In his own day, he decried an economic and political system that countenanced human bondage even as it despoiled nature. As he asks in “Slavery in Massachusetts,” “[W]hat signifies the beauty of nature when men are base?”

The Thoreau Society continues our namesake’s struggle to open all eyes to social and environmental injustice, and to end blindness to the consequences of unchecked racism, climate change, and other threats to individual freedom, democratic equality, and social justice in the United States and around the world. As a community devoted to Thoreau’s legacy, we are a work-in-progress, committed to the perpetual challenge of improving the Thoreau Society as an embodiment—and a promoter—of these ideals.

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Nancy Shohet West

Date: Sunday, October 11, 2020 - 3:30pm
Location: This is a Zoom event
Nancy Shohet West is a Boston-area journalist who helps individuals, multi-generational families, communities, and special interest groups to write and self-publish their memoirs.

Richard Smith

Date: Friday, September 18, 2020 - 7:00pm
Location: This is a Zoom event
Richard Smith has lectured on and written about antebellum United States and 19th-century American literature since 1999. He has worked as a public historian in Concord, Massachusetts for 21 years, specializing in Henry David Thoreau, the Transcendentalists, the Anti-Slavery movement and the Civil War. He has written five books for Applewood Books.