Friday, July 15, 2005

No Appeasement

From the OpinionJournal:

Thanks to Petrified Truth for the tip.

The parallels between this volume [Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix] and Britain's prewar dithering are so great that the book is perhaps best read as a light companion to "Alone," the second volume of William Manchester's biography of Winston Churchill.

Jonathan Last describes the similarities between Voldemort and Hitler, Chamberlain and Fudge, and Churchill and Dumbledore.

Like Neville Chamberlain, Minister Fudge is eager to help his constituents look the other way. Throughout the '30s, Chamberlain, fearing that Churchill was out for his job, conducted a campaign against his fellow Tory. Chamberlain denied the existence of the German menace and ridiculed Churchill as a "warmonger." He used the London Times--the government's house organ--to attack Churchill and suppress dispatches from abroad about the Nazis that would have vindicated him...

...In retaliation for sounding the alarm about Voldemort, Fudge strips Dumbledore of his many honors and has him driven from Hogwarts. He also uses the Daily Prophet--the wizarding version of the London Times--to print nasty stories about Harry and Dumbledore and to suppress reports about the Dark Lord. Fudge even has a toadying adviser--Dolores Umbridge--who, like Lord Halifax, exists to give the cut to Dumbledore and peddle the notion that Voldemort poses no danger. Umbridge--an appeaser if there ever was one--replaces the curriculum of Hogwarts' Defense Against the Dark Arts class with lessons such as "Non-Retaliation and Negotiation."

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