"Thoreau is one of those authors that readers think they know, even if they don't. He's the solitary curmudgeon with the shack out in the woods, the mystic worshipping solemnly in the quiet church of nature. He's our national Natural Man, the prophet of environmentalism. But here Robert Sullivan--who himself has been called an 'urban Thoreau' (New York Times Book Review) --presents the Thoreau you don't know: the activist, the organizer, the gregarious adventurer, the guy who likes to go camping with friends (even if they sometimes accidentally burn the woods down). Sullivan shows us not a lonely eccentric but a man in his growing village, and argues that Walden was a book intended to revive America, a communal work forever pigeonholed as a reclusive one--and that this misreading is at the heart of our troubled relationship with the environment today."--From publisher description.