(Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2015)
Hardback: 211 pages
Anyone who has read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings can gather that their author hated tyranny, but few know that the novelist who once described himself as a hobbit in all but size was even by hobbit standards a zealous proponent of economic freedom and small government. There is a growing concern among many that the West is sliding into political, economic, and moral bankruptcy. In his beloved novels of Middle-earth, J.R.R. Tolkien has drawn us a map to freedom.
Several books ably explore how Tolkien’s Catholic faith informed his fiction. None until now have centred on how his passion for liberty and limited government also shaped his work, or how this passion grew directly from his theological vision of man and creation. The Hobbit Party fills this void.
Much more work is needed in this area, not least because Tolkien stated, implicitly at least, that the political significance of the work was second only to the religious in its importance.
The few existing pieces that do focus on the subject are mostly written by scholars with little or no formal training in literary analysis, and even less training in political economy. Witt and Richards bring to The Hobbit Party a combined expertise in literary studies, political theory, economics, philosophy, and theology.
About the authors
Jonathan Witt, PhD, is a former English professor, a Research and Media Fellow at the Acton Institute, and managing editor of The Stream. He has written many popular and academic articles, scripted three documentaries that have appeared on PBS, and is co-author of A Meaningful World. He also served as the lead writer for the PovertyCure Series and the award-winning film Poverty, Inc.
Jay W. Richards, PhD, is Assistant Research Professor in the School of Business and Economics at the Catholic University of America, a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute, and executive editor of The Stream. He has authored and co-authored many books, including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated and Indivisible, as well as Money, Greed, and God, The Privileged Planet and The Untamed God.