Horton Hears A Who was about much much more than Horton's predicament. Written in the early 1950's, this story reflected a new way of thinking for Dr. Seuss as an individual, and ran contrary to the grain of much of the sentiment in the United States at the time.
During the early 1950's the results of the Marshall Plan were still unclear, and Americans, who had just fought a fierce war with Japan and Germany in the decade before, were debating whether or not to continue with our aid, protection and reconstruction programs. The programs were designed to give our defeated foes a chance to rebuild. They were a brave new experiment. An effort to avoid punishing the populous for its bad leadership. Also, for the first time in history, and effort to love your enemy, in the hopes of making them your friend forever.
Many Americans viewed the Germans and Japanese with disdain. They were calling for an end to aid for a variety of reasons, most of which are touched upon in the book.
Despite his racially charged characterizations of the Japanese *during* the war, Dr. Seuss was coming to terms with the fact that the general populations of Germany and Japan were additional victoms of the war - simply leftover pawns in a terrible game.
Seuss wrote this book in an effort to get the word out that, despite differences past and present, we should try to care about one another just the same.
"the Whos down in Whoville on top of that little speck are people,regardless of race,creed-or size!"
Dr. Seuss was compelled by the helplessness of these devestated nations, and was issuing an appeal for everyone to start looking at nations as a collection of real people, rather than as a monolithic "other".