Publication[ edit ] The book was published by George M. Its first edition had a printing of 10, copies and was sold in advance of the publication date of September 1, On May 17,the first copy of the book came off the press; Baum assembled it by hand and presented it to his sister Mary Louise Baum Brewster. The public saw the book for the first time at a book fair at the Palmer House in Chicago, July 5—
Did Baum intend to pen a subtle political satire on monetary reform or merely an entertaining fantasy? Though not a smash hit at the time of its release, The Wizard of Oz soon captured the hearts of the movie-going public, and it has retained its grip ever since.
Yet, as everyone knows, The Wizard of Oz is more than just another celluloid classic; it has become a permanent part of American popular culture. For a quarter of a century after its film debut, no one seemed to think otherwise.
In an ingenuous act of imaginative scholarship, Henry M. Littlefield linked the characters and the story line of the Oz tale to the political landscape of the Mauve Decade.
The discovery was little less than astonishing: As editor of a small newspaper in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Baum had written on politics and current events in the late s and early s, a period that coincided with the formation of the Populist Party.
Littlefield also indicated that Baum was sympathetic to the Populist movement, supported William Jennings Bryan in the election ofand, though not an activist, consistently voted for Democratic candidates.
The reaction to Littlefield was, predictably, mixed. The contention that Oz is a cleverly crafted political parable reached its apogee in the erudite pages of the Journal of Political Economy. In the book version of Oz, Dorothy treads the Yellow Brick Road in silver shoes, not in ruby slippers.
Silver shoes on a golden road? Populists and other free-silver proponents advocated unlimited coinage of the white metal in order to inflate the money supply, thus making it easier for cash-strapped farmers and small businessmen to borrow money and pay off debts.
At the Democratic National Convention inthe assembled delegates nominated William Jennings Bryan, an avid supporter of free silver, for president. The Bryan nomination created a split in the Democratic Party, as gold-standard delegates bolted the convention.
When the Populists convened two weeks later, they decided to endorse Bryan, putting all their reformist eggs in the free-silver basket. Bywhen Bryan was again defeated by McKinley, Populism already had one foot in the political grave.
Incorporating the analogies developed by Littlefield and others, and adding a few of his own, Rockoff provided a detailed and sustained analysis of the political and economic issues symbolically refracted in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
With Rockoff, the allegorical interpretation reached a peak of sophistication, yet its subsequent decline was no less precipitous than that of the Populist Party itself. Indeed, the record shows that Baum was neither.
His editorials for the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer expressed support for Republican candidates and criticized the nascent Populist movement. Later, during the campaign, Baum published a poem championing McKinley and his economic policies: The Oz purists could only rejoice.The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L.
Frank Baum. Home / Literature / The Wonderful Wizard of Oz / Analysis / The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. BACK; NEXT ; Dorothy and the Silver Shoes.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is too long to be a parable and not quite didactic enough to be an allegory. Still, the main characters. The Historian's Wizard of Oz synthesizes four decades of scholarly interpretations of L. Frank Baum's classic children's novel as an allegory of the Gilded Age political economy and a /5(11).
Why should you care about The Wizard in L.
Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? We have the answers here, in a quick and easy way. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
Home / Literature / The Wonderful Wizard of Oz / Analysis / We'll spare you the elaborate academic theories on how the story is an allegory about politics and. Do you really want to delete this prezi? Transcript of The Wizard of Oz and the allegory of the Populist movement.
Populism what is it? Heard of The Wizard of Oz? These are connected with the Littlefield Theory In , L Frank Baum, wrote “The Wizard of Oz” as a metaphor for the Populist era. Baum was a political activist in the s. In The Historian’s Wizard of Oz: Reading L. Frank Baum’s Classic as a Political and Monetary Allegory, Dighe concludes that the story “is almost certainly not a conscious Populist allegory,” but, like Parker, he believes “the book works” as one (, 8).
The Historian's Wizard of Oz synthesizes four decades of scholarly interpretations of L. Frank Baum's classic children's novel as an allegory of the Gilded Age political economy and a Reviews: