When Russel B. Nye and Martin Gardner teamed up to bring out a new edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, theirs was the first critical analysis of L. Frank Baum American classic. The book opens with an essay by Nye, entitled "An Appreciation," which is an overview of Baum's creative and imaginative genius. Nye explores the reasons why earlier critics virtually ignored the Oz stories. Gardner, in his essay, "The Royal Historian of Oz," presents a brief biographical sketch, revealing little-known facts about this prolific writer. The volume also contains the complete, original text of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, along with many original illustrations by artist W. W. Denslow.
Martin Gardner is an American mathematics and science writer specializing in recreational mathematics, but with interests encompassing micromagic, stage magic, pseudoscience, literature (especially the writings of Lewis Carroll), philosophy, scientific skepticism, and religion. He wrote the 'Mathematical Games' column in Scientific American from 1956 to 1981, and he has published over 70 books.
Russel B. Nye, Professor Emeritus and historian of American culture and literature, won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for biography. Nye taught English at the Michigan State University for 39 years and served 13 years as chairman of the English Department there. The Russel B. Nye Popular Culture Collection in the MSU Libraries includes over 150,000 items.