Henry David Thoreau's short work "Civil Disobedience" is one of American literature's most famous short works. Although it was first delivered as a lecture in 1848, it wasn't until the 20th century that it came to be valued for its ideas. This volume explains why the document was written, its impact at the time, and its relevance and significance in today's world. "Civil Disobedience" was a key text for, among others, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. Thoreau's thoughts on the importance of individuals, informed dissent, and nonviolent resistance resonate in today's world. Readers will come away with a deeper understanding of the concept of civil disobedience and a new appreciation for one of America's great writers.