Thoreau's contemporaries found him prickly, ill mannered, and homely. Ralph Waldo Emerson, his friend and mentor, thought Thoreau frittered away his talent, leading readers "on a huckleberry party." However, in the 150 years since his death, Thoreau has become the patron saint of ecologists, conscientious objectors, non-violent protesters, advocates of simple living, champions of self-discovery, and proponents of limited government. This talk looks at Thoreau the person and his increasingly relevant contributions to American thought. Can anyone resist a dying man who, when asked if he had made his peace with God, replied, "I didn't know we quarreled."