Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books

Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books


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Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books by Christine Woodside

The Myth-Busting Book That Finally Revealed the True Story Behind the Beloved Children's Classics.

Generations of children have fallen in love with the pioneer saga of the Ingalls family, of Pa and Ma, Laura and her sisters, and their loyal dog, Jack. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books have taught millions of Americans about frontier life, giving inspiration to many and in the process becoming icons of our national identity. Yet few realize that this cherished bestselling series wandered far from the actual history of the Ingalls family and from what Laura herself understood to be central truths about pioneer life.

In this groundbreaking narrative of literary detection, Christine Woodside reveals the full extent of the collaboration between Laura and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who shared the political values of Ayn Rand and became a mentor to Roger Lea MacBride, the second Libertarian presidential candidate. Drawing on original manuscripts and letters, Woodside shows how Rose reshaped her mother's story into a series of heroic tales that rebutted the policies of the New Deal. Their secret collaboration would lead in time to their estrangement. A fascinating look at the relationship between two strong-willed, trail-blazing women, Libertarians on the Prairie is also the deconstruction of an American myth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628728651
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Publication date: 10/17/2017
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 409,204
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Christine Woodside is a writer and the editor of the journal Appalachia. She writes about the history of ordinary Americans and their clashes with nature. She has nourished a fascination with the Little House books since she was a girl. As a teenager, she applied for a summer job at the Laura Ingalls Wilder farmhouse in Mansfield, Missouri—but, residing in New Jersey, failed to impress the curator. She now lives in Deep River, Connecticut, with her husband.

Table of Contents

Foreword Stephen Heuser ix

Preface to the Paperback Edition xi

Note to the Reader xiii

Introduction: Irene Lichty Turns Me Down xv

Part I Outsiders

1 Laura (1867-1885) 3

2 Rose and Laura (1886-1920) 13

Part II The Family Business

3 The Albanian Inspiration 31

4 The Writers' Colony and the Crash 45

5 The Big American Novel 64

6 The Break-Up 83

Part III The Estrangement

7 The Hard Winter 111

8 Libertarians in Connecticut 124

9 Freedom 137

10 Two Legacies 154

Part IV Literature as Politics

11 Roger, Rose's Libertarian Legacy 175

12 What We Want 189

Acknowledgments 203

Appendix I Paper Movements: Tracing Two Sets of Documents 206

Appendix II Notes on the Drafting of the Little House Books 211

Notes 219

Bibliography 244

Index 252

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Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 4 days ago
This was an interesting look into what really happened, especially concerning the LHOTP series. I wasn't a fan of the politics, but we can't expect everyone to agree with us.
lotsofpuppies More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting book recounting the partnership between Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane in creating the Little House series. Woodside describes the conflicting relationship between mother and daughter and how the series brought them closer together, yet eventually drove them apart. Woodside also discusses the themes of individual freedom and basis of the Libertarian political movement within the Little House series and how this developed through Rose's emergence as one of the three female spearheads of the Libertarian party. A must read for anyone interested in Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, the Little House series of books, or the Libertarian political movement.