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

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$17.99  $16.73
Arcade Publishing
Publish Date
6.0 X 1.1 X 8.8 inches | 0.85 pounds

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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.
"Woodside's contribution to the myriad books and scholarly articles about the dysfunctional relationship between Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, is the result of four decades of exhaustive research. . . . The more fascinating details for readers are those revolving around the strange yet intense relationship between mother and daughter, fraught with resentments and jealousy, yet ultimately steadfast, and certainly productive." --Booklist

"A book for die-hard Little House fans." --Kirkus

"Illuminating . . . Iconoclastic . . . Solidly supports the conclusion that the younger woman [Rose Wilder Lane] was the primary mastermind behind the literary classics." --Book Page

"Myth-busting . . . Woodside masterfully captures the behind-the-scenes story of two strong-willed women locked in an uneasy, but interdependent, enterprise." --Shoreline Times

"New scholarship on Wilder tracks how her books may have been deliberately engineered to fuel the limited-government movement. In a just published work, Libertarians on the Prairie, Christine Woodside fleshes out earlier arguments that Wilder's only child, Rose Wilder Lane, edited the Little House series to reflect her own political leanings." --Boston Globe

"Woodside's book also shines light on the political views of Wilder and her secret collaborator that were below the surface of the Little House series." --History Channel

"Woodside's book is thoroughly researched and leaves one pondering how the Little House books would be different if Lane didn't have such a hand in her mother's books." --The Post Star

"Libertarians on the Prairie is a fascinating expose; of the ideological underpinnings of one of America's best-loved stories. Who knew that the Laura Ingalls Wilder franchise was actually political propaganda?" --Jane Mayer, staff writer, The New Yorker magazine, and author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

"This is a beautiful piece of writing. Christine Woodside does an admirable job describing the intense concept of self-reliance which permeated the lives and literature of Wilder and Lane. This book is a must for anyone devoted to the Little House books and their history." --William Anderson, author of Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography and The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder

"The narrative of the Little House books' creation has been a fragmented one until now. Christine Woodside's fresh perspective brings together the pieces of a remarkable literary and cultural history and gives us new insights on the two women who began with a children's story and ended up inspiring a nation." --Wendy McClure, author of The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

"Christine Woodside has completely changed my view of the Little House on the Prairie. Her encyclopedic scholarship, meticulous assembly of documentary sources, clear narrative writing style, and frank revelations about Rose's FDR-hating politics credibly demonstrate the connection between the Little House books and the libertarian fantasy of noble and government-free prairie self-sufficiency. Woodside has written the classic history of the classic series." --Mark Kramer, founding director of Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University