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Utopia Americana

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Utopia Americana is a 1929 critical essay on the Oz literature, written by Edward Wagenknecht. It was the earliest serious consideration of Oz by a literary scholar.

Wagenknecht's essay was published in a 40-page booklet by the University of Washington bookstore in Seattle. At the time Wagenknecht was a doctoral candidate at the University.

As its title indicates, the essay regards the Oz books as a form of Utopian literary expression. Wagenknecht drew heavily on famous and often-quoted passages in The Emerald City of Oz to make his case. He wrote that while L. Frank Baum's books are not primarily works of social criticism,

"Yet the utopian element in them is strong, and if the children do not forget it all by the time they grow up, perhaps it is not too fantastic to imagine that it may do some good."

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