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Comment: First edition, 6th printing. The glossy cover has minor edge and corner wear, a couple of small superficial creases, and light curling to the tips of both exterior corners on the front which extends to the first few pages. Except for one page with a bent corner, one page with two highlighted phrases, and one page with two words written in gray ink, the interior of the book is excellent -- the pages are bright, crisp, clean, otherwise unmarked and free of dog-ears, and firmly attached to the spine, which is uncreased. The binding is quite tight and the book is square. Inside the Amazon packaging your book is plastic-wrapped with protected corners and edges, and the label is on the plastic wrap, not on the book. Great value for a very nice copy of this fascinating study! :)
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The Historian's Wizard of Oz: Reading L. Frank BauM&Apos;s Classic as a Political and Monetary Allegory Paperback – June 21, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0275974190 ISBN-10: 0275974197 Edition: annotated edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; annotated edition edition (June 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275974197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275974190
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

[e]ven though the story does not really work all that well as an allegory, the allegory works well as a tool for teaching the history.

-

Science Fiction Studies



[a] useful resource for Oz scholars and teachers, with its helpful historical background information, bibliographic references, selection of contemporary images, and excellent overview of academia's Populist-parable theory.

-

Utopian Studies



[A] very useful and engaging book that introduces and explains the context under which BauM&Apos;s book was written and provides some of the basis for the economic and political interpretations that have emerged over the years. The wonderful Wizard of OZ can be read for pure delight by a child or alternatively can become part of a scholarly debate over the events and significance of economic and public policy- a testimony to the power of words and the importance of metaphors to understanding complex relationships. For students and teachers, for novice and seasoned scholars alike, I heartily recommend Dighe's interesting and entertaining book.

-

EH.Net book Review

Review

"Ranjit Dighe's new book will be of immense interest to scholars seeking to understand Baum and his classic, and to teachers who wish to use BauM&Apos;s story as a platform for discussing one of the crucial periods in American political and economic history. Although written in a straightforward and engaging style, the book is based on an impressive understanding of the primary and secondary sources. Professor Dighe has chosen judiciously among conflicting interpretations, developed new interpretations of his own, and dealt sensitively with the thorny issue of BauM&Apos;s intentions. The Historian's Wizard of Oz will be the definitive work for a long time to come."

(

Hugh Rockoff, Professor of Economics, Rutgers University

)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J.L. Populist on December 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is offered as a teaching tool on the history and economic issues of the 1890's.

Mr.Dighe chronicles the interpretations of "The Wizard of Oz" as imagery of politics and money by various writers starting with Henry Littlefield in 1964.

The author cautions that there are subtle differences between the movie and Mr. Baum's book. The color of Dorothy's shoes is one example.

Mr. Baum's political leanings are a relevant topic of this book. They are basically an unknown. Mr. Dighe suggests that Mr. Baum probably didn't intentionally write "The Wizard of Oz" as political/economic allegory. But the book fills that role surprisingly well!

The first chapter explains money and national finances in easy terms. Some of the subjects in that vein are; the gold standard, gold reserve, and fiat money. They are all efficiently defined.

The story of "The Wizard of Oz" is printed in this book accompanied by numerous footnotes that are educational and interesting. Those footnotes detail some of the interpretations from authors like Henry Littlefield, Hugh Rockoff, and Ranjit Dighe himself among others.

These interpretations are speculative, but some of them are glaringly obvious. The green in Oz's temple for the color of money is one.

He includes William Jennings Bryan's speech at the end of the book. I have mixed feelings on Mr. Bryan. While he advocated the federal income tax(I don't care for that)he has his spot in history that was well-earned by his presidential campaigns and eloquent speeches.

This book addresses a fascinating topic. The question of whether L.Frank Baum intended for his book to serve as an allegory for the politics of the 1890's is one that each reader will have to answer for themselves.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Charles Z on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ranjit S. Dighe's coverage of Baum's Wizard of Oz as an allegory is well designed as a teaching source for Populism.

I found his chapter on the historical background of this period very helpful in understanding this complicated period. More importantly, the chapter that includes the original story with annotations that identify the symbolism is exactly what a researcher is looking for. References to Littlefield's interpretation and Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech makes this book a complete source for introducing this parable to history or economic students.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. G. on May 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Great background on a subject that escapes most history textbooks. The author takes a "middle ground" and asserts that Baum is not really taking an active stance on the Gold/Silver standard, but merely using analogies from the political climate at the times. The theory makes sense, but a deep reading of the Wizard of Oz then seems to take on merely academic curiosity.

5 stars for the background of the story, but less 1 star for the seemingly academic (pointless??) analysis of this nice story as it relates to the Gold/Siver standard.

Of course, other writers have completely divergent opinions on Baum and his writings, so I would also get some books by those authors to even out the analysis a bit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alan G. Elze on April 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've wondereda bout alternative views of WWOZ, this is it. Covers the Populist movement very well and how Baum could have gotten material for WWOZ from that time period.
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