Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, historian, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. Thoreau neither rejected civilization nor fully embraced wilderness. Instead he sought a middle ground, the pastoral realm that integrates both nature and culture. His idea of being "far in the recesses of the wilderness" of Maine was to "travel the logger's path and the Indian trail," but he also hiked on pristine untouched land. On alcohol, Thoreau wrote: "I would fain keep sober always... I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man; wine is not so noble a liquor... Of all ebriosity, who does not prefer to be intoxicated by the air he breathes?"