My dear wife found an article in The Wall Street Journal that is quite interesing. It’s a review of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books‘ by Meghan Clyne.
While it is probably worth a full read, here are some excerpts that I found particularly interesting:
- “Wilder’s stories for children document the Westward Expansion and explore surprisingly grown-up themes—the nature of self-government, the responsibilities that go along with freedom”
- “ Wilder wrote the ‘Little House’ books during the Depression and New Deal, at a time when she saw the nation sliding into an unhealthy dependency on government. In addition to educating American children about a crucial period of their history, Wilder wanted to show them a freer way of life. ‘Self reliance,’ she explained in a speech in the winter of 1935-36, is one of the ‘values of life’ that ‘run[s] through all the stories, like a golden thread.’ “
- “If Wilder’s pioneer families are resourceful, government is depicted as meddling and incompetent—a contrast that emphasizes the importance of providing for oneself. “
- “If Laura Ingalls Wilder can be a modern-day teacher of liberty, the Library of America edition of her work is an excellent textbook.”
I must heartily agree with her conclusion: “The stories we tell and honor have enormous value in shaping a culture. At this moment, Wilder’s stories deserve a closer reading.”