Posts tagged with: The Hobbit

As we prepare to kick off the fall portion of the 2015 Acton Lecture Series tomorrow (featuring Don Devine speaking about how America can find its way back to a harmony between freedom and tradition), we take a look back at the final lecture of the spring series, which was delivered on May 21 by Jonathan Witt, who aside from being a former English professor, a Research and Media Fellow at the Acton Institute, and Managing Editor of The Stream, is also the co-author of The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot. In the book, Witt and co-author Jay Richards explain how Tolkien’s passion for liberty and limited government shaped his work, and how this passion grew directly from his theological vision of man and creation.

You can view Witt’s lecture below, and be sure to check out Acton’s events page to register for upcoming lectures in the fall Acton Lecture Series.

The Hobbit PartyOn this edition of Radio Free Acton, your humble host bravely battles a late-spring cold to bring you an interview with Jonathan Witt, Managing Editor at, and author of The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom that Tolkien Got and The West Forgot. Was Frodo a small-government type? Was Tolkien a card-carrying member of the local Republican party? Or were the hobbits short-statured hippies who really enjoyed their pipe weed and the free healthcare provided by the Shire’s smooth-running, benevolent bureaucracy? Find out on Radio Free Acton!

Jay Richards and I have an Ignatius Press book on Tolkien’s commitment to freedom coming out soon, so we’ve been following developments in the Hobbit film trilogy more closely than we might otherwise. A recent development is director Peter Jackson announcing a subtitle change to the third film—from There and Back Again, to Battle of the Five Armies.

That’s maybe a bit narrow for a novel that’s also about food, fellowship and song, but I think it’d be going too far to say it’s somehow out of step with Tolkien. The book, a prelude to The Lord of the Rings, features the now titular battle of five armies, a narrowly avoided battle of three armies and, leading up to this, skirmishes with everything from clever spiders to dimwitted trolls.

The Lord of the Rings, though more sophisticated in its themes, is similarly chock-full of clashing swords and the like. In one battle, two of the nobler characters even compete to see who can kill the most orcs. Interestingly, the peace-loving hippies of the ’60s were among the first to embrace the battle-soaked novel in large numbers. What are we to make of this curious alliance?