March 21, 2009
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The recent End Of The World As We Know It has evoked a flurry of fresh interest in The Wizard of Oz as political allegory. The farmers (Scarecrow) and industrial workers (Tin Woodsman) join Dorothy (from Kansas) on her quest. They meet the Lion (William Jennings Bryan), and together must conquer the Wicked Witch of the West (Mark Hannah?) and the Emerald City (Washington, where everything is green and no one does a lick of work).

The BBC was hot on the case, and this excellent summary has been much blogged. The allegorical interpretation stems from Henry M. Littlefield’s The Wizard of Oz: Parable of Populism. Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan

Littlefield thinks the flying monkeys are Indians. I had figured Pinkertons, but now think Littlefield has the better case.