The cover shows Laura Ingalls Wilder, left, and Rose Wilder Lane, as they looked when they were writing the books.

“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.”


My book about the pioneer myth created in the Little House books is coming out on September 6. It is the culmination of more than sixteen years of research and an idea I hatched half my lifetime ago.

It tells the story of the secret collaboration between Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, and shows how Rose reshaped her mother’s story into a series of heroic tales that rebutted the politics of the New Deal.


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

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

This is a beautiful piece of writing. Libertarians on the Prairie is a concise, brisk read, covering all significant points in the story of the Laura Ingalls Wilder-Rose Wilder Lane writing collaboration. 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.

Share This