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Tolkien and Politics

By Anthony Cooney, Patrick Harrington, and David Kerr

ISBN 0954478827
Third Way Publications £5.00
Paper – 20 A4 pages

“So when we read Tolkien are we trying to escape from our world or make sense of it? The Hobbits have moments in LOTR when they enter into enchanted worlds where they gain some respite from their troubles and the demands placed on them. In Tom Bombadil’s Old Forest and later when they stop with Galadriel in Lorien they are protected to a degree. Yet they do not dwell in these places. They move on to fight evil. The authors of Tolkien and Politics accept and value the different aspects of LOTR but assert that ultimately it is not about escaping the ‘real world’ but understanding and even, dare we suggest, changing it.” – Tolkien and Politics

This work looks at the political views that underly the Lord of the Rings. The book has not been authorised, prepared, approved, licensed, or endorsed by the Tolkien Estate, New Line Cinema, or any of the publishing companies associated with the Lord of the Rings and other literary works written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Many establishment intellectuals despise Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings. They see it as reactionary – even racist or fascist. At the same time the extreme right seeks to claim a kindred spirit. They point to the evil wizard Saruman breeding Orcs with men, creating the powerful but impure Uruk-Hai and stress the significance of the polarisation between the good West and the evil East.

The authors of Tolkien and Politics argue that both sides have misinterpreted what Tolkien had to say. The ‘PC’ Left and rabid Right have failed to understand the complexity of his views.

The authors of Tolkien and Politics examine the life and work of Tolkien with particular reference to his political and ethical views. They detail his disappointment that England didn’t shave its own coherent mythology and how his works were aimed at creating one. They show how he was ahead of his time in his views on Ecology. They defend him from accusations of Racism. They examine his views on economics and his distrust of Big Government.

The writers argue that it is the strength of Tolkien’s convictions that underly the vividness and complexity of the work. To fully understand the masterpiece perhaps we have to understand the Master?


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