Finding Oz by Evan I. Schwartz
How L. Frank Baum Discovered the Great American Story

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A groundbreaking new look at an American icon, THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Finding Oz tells the remarkable tale behind one of the world's most enduring and best loved stories. Offering profound new insights into the true origins and meaning of L. Frank Baum's 1900 masterwork, it delves into the personal turmoil and spiritual transformation that fueled Baum's fantastical parable of the American Dream. Prior to becoming an impresario of children's adventure tales--the J. K. Rowling of his age--Baum failed at a series of careers and nearly lost his soul before setting out on a journey of discovery that would lead to the Land of Oz.

Drawing on original research, Evan Schwartz debunks popular misconceptions and shows how the people, places, and events in Baum's life gave birth to his unforgettable images and characters. The Yellow Brick Road was real, the Emerald City evoked the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, and Baum's mother-in-law, the radical women's rights leader Matilda Joslyn Gage, inspired his dual view of witches--as good and wicked. A narrative that sweeps across late nineteenth-century America, Finding Oz ultimately reveals how failure and heartbreak can sometimes lead to redemption and bliss, and how one individual can ignite the imagination of the entire world.


About Evan I. Schwartz

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To write "THE LAST LONE INVENTOR, " Evan I. Schwartz spent two years researching the life stories of Philo T. Farnsworth and David Sarnoff. He interviewed surviving Farnsworth family members, including Farnsworth's 93-year-old widow, and he visited document archives in six states. As a journalist, Evan has been covering information technology for 15 years. He is a former editor at "BusinessWeek, " where he covered software and digital media and was part of teams that produced 12 cover stories and won a National Magazine Award and a Computer Press Award. In recent years, he has written for "The New York Times, WIRED, " and MIT's "Technology Review."Evan's first book, titled WEBONOMICS, published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House, has ranked as's #1 bestselling business book and was chosen as a finalist for two major awards: The Global Business Book Award as well as the Computer Press Award. International editions have been published in eight countries. Evan's second book, "DIGITAL DARWINISM, " from the same publisher, also hit #1 on Amazon's business list shortly after its release, in June 1999. Now in its twelfth hardcover and first paperback printing in the U.S., it is available in the U.K., from Penguin, and has been translated into eight other languages. It too was named a finalist for the Computer Press Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year. Evan holds a B.S. in computer science from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and lives with his family in Brookline, Mass.
Published April 23, 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 394 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Author and former business journalist Schwartz (The Last Lone Inventor) presents the life story of L. Frank Baum, focusing on the invention and development of his classic 1900 children's tale, Th

Mar 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum...

The Washington Post

Frank Baum's works, the film that better captures the essence of Baum's vision is the 1985 Disney-produced "Return to Oz."

May 12 2009 | Read Full Review of Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum...

Bookmarks Magazine

By jonSun, 04/26/2009 - 07:58.

Apr 26 2009 | Read Full Review of Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum...

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