Prairie Fires

Prairie Fires

The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Book - 2017
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"This book, written by the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House books, is a thoroughly researched biography of not only Laura Ingalls Wilder, but of her daughter, Rose. Using unpublished manuscripts, letters, financial records, and more, Fraser gives fresh insight into the life of a woman beloved to many. Intensively researched, this is definitely a fascinating read, and one that I plan on reading again -- maybe the next time I re-read the Little House series. -- Jennifer Ohzourk for LibraryReads,"--Novelist.
Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781627792769
Characteristics: xii, 625 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm


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Mar 19, 2018

I was disappointed to learn that the series of Little House books was fiction. But I am an adult and I got over it. I recommend this book to any adult who was a fan of the Little House series as a child.

Feb 27, 2018

I have long admired much beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House books.When a new book by Caroline Fraser was touted as being the 'definitive' biography, I had great expectations . Misplaced, unfortunately. Much more time should have been taken by the author to analyse, digest and consolidate her research. There is a great deal of information, at times, contradictory. The historical background is shaky.More judicious editing would have helped. When she explores the fraught relationship between Laura and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, the narrative bogs down.It becomes evident there is enough information about Rose and her career for a separate biography. Two books would have been better than one. Rose's influence on her mother's writing has long been speculated. In this biography her flamboyant overbearing character comes across strongly and makes the title misleading. There is an almost equal amount of information about Rose. The photographs are interesting and the text is supported by pages of verifying annotations. Worthy. Earnest. It is clear too that the Michael Langdon TV series has done much to add to the rosy haze that now surrounds the lives of the Ingalls and Wilder families and their neighbours; myths and legends which blur the hardships lived through by America's mid-western pioneers. Laura herself was selective. She did not want to write about the grim reality. Rather she wanted to encourage young readers.

Jan 27, 2018

This is an engaging dual bio of Wilder and Lane. However, lets be honest, Fraser's background is literary. She would have done well to stick to her strength. Certainly a biographer brings historical context to the subject/s, instead she goes into historical 'geography' for which she clearly lacks the tools. For example, the presentation of the pioneering era is incredibly flawed and clearly biased toward an environmentalist approach. To state that pre 1900 farming practices resulted in climate change is absurd. Yes, poor Almanzo caused the very drought that ruined him. Did those farming practices change the ecology? Certainly it did. One may ask, if the plow caused drought, then I gather modern irrigation practices should cause more annual average rain? That's a joke. Much like Fraser's presentation of 19 th century farming.

It is just these sort of overwrought environmental 'crusaders' who draw the wrath of the climate deniers.

Fraser continues to butcher history & make sloppy mistakes along the way. Missouri Bushwackers become a “posse”?
The era known as Bleeding Kansas as a prelude to the Civil War becomes a “proxy war.” Both historically wrong and the word usage is incorrect. I could go on, but you get the point. Read carefully and watchout for the bias, which isn’t too hard to spot as it’s as thick as molasses during a Dakota blizzard.

Dec 28, 2017

As a lifetime fan of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, I am always interested in seeing material that takes a fresh look at Laura, the person, the personal stories that made her way into her books, and the influence of her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. This was a riveting read, placing Laura and her extended family in the context of the broader history happening around them, whether it be regionally, elsewhere in America, or far further afield; and how national events impacted individual lives. Similar in various ways to "Libertarians on the Prairie" by Christine Woodside, which explores the complex and often combative relationship between Laura and her daughter Rose and speculates just how dominant a role Rose had in the creation of the stories that ended up in Laura's books, yet I found this work to be much richer. It was fascinating to read about the various stages of the settlement of the west overlaid over what we know about the Ingalls and Wilder family experiences. Equally engrossing is seeing how events colored Laura's and Rose's personalities so deeply, leading to deeply ingrained character traits and reactive psychological behaviors that seemed to be based in long-ago incidents never forgotten or satisfactorily dealt with on an emotional level. In particular, the relationship between these two women remains an intriguing tangle, with Rose emerging in a particularly unflattering light. You will not look at Laura and her stories in quite the same way again.

Dec 02, 2017

On NYT Ten Best Books of 2017 list.


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Jan 27, 2018

In the 1890s...”human caused climate change combined with natural weather patterns to wreak absolute havoc.”

Wo source citation. Because there is none. There is no scientific source to support human caused climate changes were occuring in 1890.

Dec 20, 2017

It is beyond all human power to tell all the facts....Facts are infinite in number. The truth is a meaning underlying them; you tell the truth by selecting the facts which illustrate it.


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