Sold: Signed UTOPIA AMERICANA 1st L Frank Baum Wizard of Oz Wagenknecht Essay 1929


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Here is a rare bit of Oziana for the serious collector…a signed first edition of Utopia Americana by author Edward Wagenknecht. Published in 1929 by The University of Washington Book Store, University of Washington Chapbooks, Number 28. Oz Wiki describes the booklet better than I could:

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. It was the earliest serious consideration of Oz by a literary scholar. 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.”

Simple softcover booklet in an affixed orange dust jacket; the front endpaper signed “E C Wagenknecht”. With a beautiful dreamy frontispiece of Baum. The little book is in near fine condition, with just some light fading to spine.