Why Is the Wizard of Oz So Wonderful?

What is L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—the original story, published in 1900—about, anyway? If you asked people this question in the first half-century of the book’s existence, they might have shrugged: It’s a children’s story; it’s just for fun. Starting in the middle of the 20th century, scholars made their cases: It’s a populist take on the plight of Western farmers in the late 19th century; no, it’s a pro-capitalist parable of industrialization and consumerism

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