The Corner

Kid Lit 101

Today is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. He would have been 101 years old. A lot of kids in a lot of schools are about to get a full dose of The Cat in the Hat.

In his politics, Geisel was a liberal, and his liberalism informed much of his work, especially in his late period (The Lorax is an environmental manifesto, The Butter Battle Book is a call for disarmament). But a couple of his titles were profoundly conservative. Pro-lifers have embraced Horton Hears a Who (“a person’s a person no matter how small”). My own favorite is the anti-utopian I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, which I wrote about here.

UPDATE: Oops. Did my math wrong. Seuss was born in 1904, so today he would have been 106. Now you know why I majored in English.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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