He was a friend and, initially, a follower of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Later, it seems they split.
He went to a shore of a pond, Walden, where he built himself a small cottage, and started the experiment of living alone in the woods. After 2 years, he went back to the civilization. He described his experience in a book of the same name as the pond.It seems that his form of rebellion is popular among the American public today, as we see movies such as "Captain Fantastic" , where a whole family takes to the woods to escape the negative pressure of capitalist society.
Taking to the woods for 2 years was ok in XIX century, just like running away to the steppes was ok for cossacks in feudal Russia, but it is obviously no good today. But this shows that we're continually looking for a way out of the present predicament. This also hints that there are uniform steps according to which the struggle for liberation and self-organization proceeds.
- "Walden", audio, 1854