||Henry David Thoreau: An American Eccentric recognizes the two-hundred-year birth of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) and celebrates this American non-conformist's life. The program offers insight and awareness into Thoreau's reading habits and writing stratagems. Several Thoreau authorities and scholars including: Professor Philip McFarland; actor historian Richard Smith; Professor T.C. Boyle; Professor Richard H. Baker, and James H. Bride, documentarian share their insights relating to Thoreau's unconventional literary vitality. Professor McFarland elucidates how Thoreau's contemporary Concord townsfolk observed his eccentric behavior and life style. On location at Walden Pond, Richard Smith, actor and historian, reenacts several experiences from Thoreau's years to include: Thoreau's daily life; Thoreau's Journal entries; Thoreau's spiritual influences and Thoreau's enduring reputation. Smith notes that the peripatetic Thoreau appeals to the universal and inherent individualism in mankind. James H. Bride offers additional Thoreau biographical facts as well as recounting winter scenes from Thoreau's 1846 January Journal at Walden Pond. Given Thoreau's unconventional lifestyle, his multiple subject interests are enumerated such as finding drinkable water below the winter ice and relating how professional ice businesses remove ice blocks for worldwide trade. Additionally, Professor T.C. Boyle reads several excerpts from Walden' including, Winter Animals, and other journal entries. Professor Richard Baker's tutorial for teachers and students uncovers the challenges and rewards in reading Walden; With candor and insight to the difficulties one might have upon a first reading, Baker cites the importance of reading passages aloud in class, exploring Thoreau's ideas about essential facts i.e., for living deliberately, the notion of simplicity in habit, and the challenging rhetoric evident in Thoreau's writing style. Besides the traditional classroom environment, Baker proposes considering experiences like an outdoor excursion to help students think transcendentally. Baker argues that as concepts, figurative language and symbol are emphasized too often in English classes. They are not relevant for real life experiences. Emphasizing that, teaching is performance, Baker encourages observing the world differently (similar to Thoreau's point-of view), and believes the novice Thoreau reader will benefit from grasping different lifestyles as an option, just as the eccentric Thoreau put in writing in his winter Journals.