What did Thoreau do in Concord? How did he pass his days? Walter Harding tells us in a book so thorough that it is thoroughly satisfying. Footnotes and an abundance of facts do not dull, for Thoreau was a constantly fascinating fellow. He could survey, school-teach, lecture, write, plant a tree, improve his father's pencil product, pull a pout from her nest or draw a pet mouse to his side with a flute. He was the friend of Emerson, Bronson Alcott, William Channing the Younger, knew Whitman, Horace Greeley, Hawthorne. He had a period of romancing, but subsided into the single life quite early (the one convention of the family he did not break). He was nature's man, and when dying regretted that he could not ""even see outdoors."" He was a Transcendentalist, an abolitionist. He went to jail for not paying his taxes after an amiable altercation with the t.own constable. He traveled to Maine (The Maine Woods) and Cape Cod (Cape Cod), to Staten Island and New York. His first book, A Meek on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, was written in memory of the dead brother who had accompanied him on the journey. He lived two years by Walden pond (Warden); he wrote of Civil Disobedience and The Succession of Forest Trees. When he died, for a man who had only begun to achieve the eminence he has today, he was lauded in all the major publications of the day. Of the life, this is to the life, an admirable, solid job. Mr. Harding is co-author with Milton Meltzer of A Thoreau Profile (1962).