By Robert V. Smith
Texas Tech University Press, $29.95, 288 pages
L. Frank Baum would be proud of the concept. The Way of Oz looks at his classic as a way of life, using each of the main characters to represent one segment of the philosophy. Dorothy represents leadership, the Straw Man learning, the Tin Man love, the Cowardly Lion loyalty, and the Wizard himself humility. By combining these facets of Oz, a person is able to lead a better life. The Way of Oz emphasizes that you must always serve others and learn, and by doing so you can lead a much more peaceful life.
In many ways, this is a book that shows what a joy books can be, but it also has some issues. There are a number of QR codes throughout the book that lead to videos online, something that makes the Ebook better. Although the book makes an excellent case for a philosophy based on the Oz stories, it falls short of a literary critique on Baum’s works. It needs to explain where the logic came from, it spends too much time dwelling on the books, time that could have been spent on the philosophy itself. Definitely worth looking at, but it can be a slog.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim
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