The Politics of Dr. Seuss

With Cat in the Hat making a splash at the box office, John Miller takes a look at the political ramifications of Dr. Seuss. While recognizing that Theodore Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, was a liberal and that his stories mostly reflected that, Miller offers his choice as a favorite:

My favorite Seuss book is one that many people don’t know about: I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew (1965). Seuss may not have realized it, but the theme of Solla Sollew is powerfully conservative.
Unfortunately, it was not Seuss’s most commercially successful book — sales were disappointing, even though it was written and issued during his heyday. The Morgan’s describe the book this way: “a somber morality tale, a Seussian Pilgrim’s Progress with the message that one can’t run away from trouble.” Yet it’s far deeper than that. In truth, Solla Sollew is a warning against what Eric Voegelin called immanentizing the eschaton. Put in plain English: Don’t seek heaven on earth.

Leave it Miller to connect Eric Voeglin and Dr. Suess!

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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5 Comments

  • believe you me, dr seuss definately knew the deeper meaning in his stories. by the way you say that “dr seuss may not have realized it…” it sounds like you didnt know that he used to be a POLITICAL CARTOONIST in a newspaper called the PM.
    maybe you should brush up on your dr seuss.

    -emily

  • believe you me, dr seuss definately knew the deeper meaning in his stories. by the way you say that “dr seuss may not have realized it…” it sounds like you didnt know that he used to be a POLITICAL CARTOONIST in a newspaper called the PM.
    maybe you should brush up on your dr seuss.

    -emily

  • PLEASE check out HORTON HEARS A WHO (the video). Definately conservative. I believe most of his work is.

  • PLEASE check out HORTON HEARS A WHO (the video). Definately conservative. I believe most of his work is.

  • Wha??? Dr Suess was no conservative-he was a old school liberal, and they were big on personal responsibility. Cons today just wanna ban bad behavior, and libs like suess felt like you should know whats right and wrong and make your own choices,not the government.