PLEDGE NOW
Frank Baum's Oz

Oz

L. Frank Baum, the man who wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” famously did it with one pencil, in one great blast.

But the Wizard of Oz didn’t come out of nowhere. Baum was 44. By 1899, he’d worked and failed as a chicken farmer, an actor, an oil-can merchant, a traveling salesman.

He’d ventured west to the Dakotas. Seen wonders. Feared Sitting Bull. Suffered a fierce mother-in-law. Searched for his own True Self.

And then, wrote the great American fairy tale. Of Kansas and Dorothy, Toto and a wizard. He was the JK Rowling of his day. This hour, On Point: Finding Oz.

You can join the conversation. What is it about this story — the book, the movie, Dorothy, Toto, “There’s no place like home” — that gets us going? Can you feel the currents that must have inspired L. Frank Baum? Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guest:

Evan Schwartz is a former editor at BusinessWeek and author of “Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum Discovered the Great American Story.”  His previous book is “The Last Lone Inventor: A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television.”

You can watch Evan Schwartz introduce “Finding Oz” and read an excerpt from the book at his website.

 

More links:

Find an illustrated reprint edition of Baum’s original “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (1900) using Google Book Search.

The full text of the original edition is online at Project Gutenberg.

And here is a famous scene from the 1939 movie (from YouTube):

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jun 30, 2015
People stand in a queue to use an ATM outside a closed bank, next to a sign on the plant, bottom right, reading ''NO'' in Athens, Tuesday. It's crunch time for Greece, with the European part of its international bailout expiring Tuesday. (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)

Greece closes its banks as debt negotiations reach a crisis point. We hear the latest on the debt crisis and its threat to the Eurozone.

Jun 30, 2015
In this image provided by NASA/JSC, astronauts Steven L. Smith and John M. Grunsfeld are photographed during an extravehicular activity (EVA) during the December 1999 Hubble servicing mission of STS-103, flown by Discovery. The Hubble Space Telescope, one of NASA'S crowning glories, marks its 25th anniversary on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Global plans for outer space. We’ll look around the world at who has what agendas for out there.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 29, 2015
Bacteria under a microscope.

Can bacteria in your gut influence your brain? Your mood? Your emotions? Top scientists say yes.

 
Jun 29, 2015
People walk on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Saturday April 26, 2014. Two Supreme Court cases about police searches of cellphones without warrants present vastly different views of the ubiquitous device. Is it a critical tool for a criminal or is it an American’s virtual home? How the justices answer that question could determine the outcome of the cases being argued Tuesday, April 29, 2014. (AP)

Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Lethal injection. Voting rights. Redistricting. A big look at the Supreme Court term.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment
 
Quick Note On Rebroadcasting Today
Thursday, Jun 18, 2015

A quick note regarding today’s shifting schedule of broadcasts.

More »
2 Comments
 
How To Follow Team USA At The Women’s World Cup
Monday, Jun 15, 2015

Good news! You can watch the 2015 Women’s World Cup on basic broadcast TV. Bad news: we can’t quite predict if the American team is going to make it all the way to the July 5 championship game.

More »
2 Comments