Harry Potter's message
From Knoxville we learn that when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the series, appears on 21 July, University of Tennessee law professor Benjamin Barton will be standing in line to buy it.
This is because Barton has found a thread “woven all the way through" JK Rowling's books. Her many fans have written books about her themes, but Barton’s idea is a bit different.
“Barton wrote a paper entitled ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy’ that was published in the Michigan Law Review in May 2006. The paper is being reprinted as a chapter in the book, ‘Harry Potter and the Law’ (Carolina Press), due out this summer.”
Barton finds a distinctly libertarian and anti-government thread running through the novels. “Anyone who has pulled herself out of poverty as Rowling has is likely to believe that self-reliance and hard work are the keys to success, and to be conversely wary of government intervention," he observes. He wonders whether in this last book the government will “come back to useful life or the characters will have to rely on rugged individualism to overcome the obstacles posed by the dysfunctional government."
Barton makes a point, but I think one of the reasons so many readers like Harry Potter is because he’s part of a team, a brave underdog of a team. Harry Potter doesn't travel alone. And neither, for the most part, do British heroes.
Brilliant teamwork (and the occasional mess-up) are everywhere evident, from the knights of Magna Carta to Montfort’s bachelor knights, from the Agitators to the Convenors of the Declaration of Right, from juries and trusts and friendly societies and suffragettes to the fleet that rescued the army at Dunkirk. . .underdogs all, and all wise, bold, and free.
Thanks to Instapundit for the Knoxville news.