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Chris Woodside is a writer and editor who writes about the history of ordinary Americans and their clashes with nature.

Her literary biography of two women, Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books, is coming out in paperback in October 2017. While plotting her next book about New Jersey tenant farmers, she continues to edit Appalachia journal and is a candidate for a master's degree in history at Arizona State University.

Libertarians on the Prairie from Arcade Publishing (2016 and 2017) takes apart the myth that the frontier was a place only of courage and individualism. It relates the story of the collaboration on the Little House books between Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, a founder of the libertarian political movement.

"The narrative of the Little House Books has been a fragmented one until now." —Wendy McClure, author of The Wilder Life.

"The classic history of the classic series." —Mark Kramer, founding director of Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University

Chris writes about the connection between the Little House books and modern conservatism in Politico.

 Libertarians on the Prairie News and Events:

The paperback is out! Includes a new preface and a foreword by Stephen Heuser, my editor at the Boston Globe and Politico. Order one today. 

Podcast Interview: Edward T. O'Donnell interviewed Chris for episode 36 on libertarianism for his podcast In the Past Lane. They discussed the importance of context: the Little House books were hatched during the Great Depression. And talked about the unlikely roots of libertarianism. 

Chris presented about the significance of Rose Wilder Lane and Laura Ingalls Wilder's secret collaboration at the 42nd annual meeting of the Social Science History Association in Montreal Thursday November 2, 2017

Christopher Klein interviewed Chris for the History Channel.

Maria Russo discusses Libertarians on the Prairie in The New York Times.

M. J. Andersen ponders her ideas about the pioneer myth and the Little House books in The Boston Globe.

See Chris's article about libertarianism and the books in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Listen to the podcast of Chris's October 19, 2016 appearance on the Colin McEnroe Show on Connecticut Public Radio.

Another great review here.

Mary Pilon interviewed Chris for this Longreads piece on Melissa Gilbert, politics, and the Little House phenomenon.

Historian Neil J. Young recommends Libertarians on the Prairie in Episode 51 of the Past Present Podcast. In the section called "What's Making History."

 

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Chris Woodside was born in Philadelphia into a large family at the tail end of the baby boom. At age 4, she moved with them to Princeton, New Jersey, where she grew up in the public schools. She studied American civilization at the University of Pennsylvania and devoted untold hours to the Daily Pennsylvanian. She worked for newspapers for 18 years.

Chris has edited Appalachia since 2005. The journal is a mountaineering publication with the literary bent published since 1876 by the Appalachian Mountain Club. Her stories in Appalachia include a profile of the Episcopal priest who first climbed Denali, a portrait of Appalachian Trail thru-hiker guru Warren Doyle, and a personal essay on her 1987 AT thru-hike with her husband and two friends. Read that story here. Learn more about Chris's approach to editing wilderness essays in this favorite blog interview (by Sandy Stott) here.

Chris has written recently for the Connecticut Health Investigative Team and Yankee. She is the former longtime editor of Connecticut Woodlands.