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"The American people love to be humbugged."
That is the legacy that captivated L. Frank Baum, who fashioned his Wizard character as a self-confessed "humbug" of the highest order. "Barnum was right that the American people liked to be deceived," Baum wrote in an 1890 newspaper column. Frank put his finger on a core truth about the American character: that if something seems too good to be true, we want in on it. But we also love when the deception is revealed, when the curtain is drawn wide open.