The remarkable story behind one of the world's most enduring and best-loved books. Offering new insights into the true origins and meaning of L. Frank Baum's 1900 masterwork, author Schwartz delves into the personal turmoil and spiritual transformation that fueled Baum's fantastical parable of the American Dream. Before becoming an impresario of children's adventure tales, 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, Schwartz debunks popular misconceptions and shows how the people, places, and events in Baum's life gave birth to his unforgettable images and characters. 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.--From publisher description.