Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Little House on the Prairie of Laura Ingalls Wilder – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on April 2, 2019

In real life, Wilder and Lane came to share a deep political connection through their mutual rejection of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. In her book Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books, Christine Woodside explained, “They both hated the New Deal. They thought the government was interfering in people’s lives, that individuals during the Depression were becoming very whiny and weren’t grabbing hold of their courage. The climate of America was really irritating them.


Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books, 2017); 625 pages.

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser, is one of the finest biographies I have read, and a fully deserving winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Prairie Fires is the definitive depiction of Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957), author of the world-renowned series of eight children’s books that are collectively known as The Little House on the Prairie. The best-selling novels recount Wilder’s childhood and her family’s life on the Western frontier during the 1870s and 1880s. In simple but compelling prose, Wilder invites readers to become part of a loving family who survive through poverty, hunger, blizzards, droughts, locusts, crop-killing hailstorms, and other hardships that are almost unimaginable to modern readers. But the novels are far from depressing; they are inspiring. Wilder makes the past come alive and readers experience the heroism of perseverance, the strength of family bonds, and the sheer beauty of nature, as seen through young Laura’s eyes and Wilder’s simple eloquence.

Fraser captures it all.

The need for Prairie Fires

Wilder’s ability to evoke vivid images and feelings is part of why Fraser’s book is necessary. Millions of people around the world grew up with Wilder. They know her almost as a friend, because her novels draw them into her life vicariously. They believe the stories are accurate depictions of her childhood. Wilder encouraged this belief by repeatedly stating that the books contained unvarnished truth. The claim itself is untrue. The broad framework of her works is undoubtedly an accurate portrayal of her past, and the sincerity of her style cannot be manufactured. But some incidents depicted did not occur, while others were materially altered, omitted, or romanticized. The blurring of Wilder’s real childhood was accelerated by the extremely popular television show Little House on the Prairie, which ran from 1974 to 1982 and introduced a generation to an almost entirely false vision of Laura, her family, and pioneer life…

Be seeing you

Gov. Gavin Newsom in drag




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