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(An article about "The Little House on the Prairie" that is key to Mark Lause's new book on the Great Cowboy Strike.)

During the Depression, with the election of Franklin Roosevelt, and in the years leading up to the war, Lane’s politics became ever more strident, her letters “hectic and unhinged.” (Fraser notes that Wilder’s own political views, meanwhile, “were more casual, of a piece with rural, conservative, small-town life.”) Lane behaved as if government interference in her life posed an existential threat. She eventually wrote a quasi-philosophical book, The Discovery of Freedom, which was derivative and poorly reviewed. She also found a fourth and final adoptive son upon whom to dote: Roger MacBride, the child of a senior editor at Reader’s Digest.

In the story of the appropriation of Wilder’s Little House books by the American right, MacBride is a major figure. A willing sponge for Lane’s political opinions, he quickly became a prominent libertarian agitator. In 1962, he won a seat in the Vermont House of Representatives on that platform, and campaigned unsuccessfully for governor in 1964. He ultimately became a libertarian presidential candidate in 1976, backed by the billionaire conservative funder Charles Koch.


full: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/04/19/laura-ingalls-wilder-and-wilder/
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