This was published over eleven years ago but it’s fascinating. Alistair McConnachie writes about how the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, is political allegory for the debate between gold and silver backed currencies of the early late 1800s and early 1900s.

“Oz is short for ounce, the measure for gold and silver.

Dorothy, hailing from Kansas, represents the commoner.

The Tin Woodsman is the industrial worker, rusted as solid as the factories shut down in the 1893 depression. The Scarecrow is the farmer who apparently doesn’t have the wit to understand his situation or his political interests. The Cowardly Lion is Bryan himself; who had a loud roar but little political power.

After vanquishing the Wicked Witch of the East (the Eastern bankers) Dorothy frees The Munchkins (the little people). With the witch’s silver slippers (the silver standard), Dorothy sets out on the Yellow Brick Road (the gold standard) to the Emerald City (Washington), where they meet the Wizard (the President), who appears powerful, but is ultimately revealed as an illusion; the real Wizard being just a little man who pulls levers behind a curtain.”

Be sure to read the article by Richard Jensen below it. It’s also full of historical context and compares the famous book turned movie to the political climate of the era.

via Chris Martucci

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