Henry Thoreau was a mystery to his countrymen from the beginning. He remains a mystery to us today. Yet we never tire of Thoreau, and he is more widely known, timelier and more controversial today than he has ever been. Who was the self-proclaimed hermit of Walden? What do we really know of him? Is Walden more biography or fantasy, or something else entirely? In this course, we shall attempt to disentangle ourselves from all the adoration, slander and misconception to ask the one most question most worth answering: What can we learn from Henry David Thoreau?