Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Little House, Long Shadow Book Discussion - Chapters 6 and 7

Finally got back into reading this book and polished it off last week. The last two chapters are titled, "The Little House Books in Public" and "The Little House in American Politics."

In Chapter 6, Fellman discusses the persistent impact Wilder's books have on American culture. From libraries to postage stamps, to school field trips, and even road trips, Laura Ingalls Wilder is a part of our heritage. The books' publisher, originally known as Harper Brothers and now HarperCollins, put forth marketing efforts that build on a base of fans who generate their own Little House products and events.

Something I didn't recall was that after World War II, the U.S. State Department, at the request of General Douglas MacArthur, had The Long Winter translated into German and Japanese as part of the Americanization efforts in postwar rehabilitation.

This chapter also speaks about the tourism and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and the numerous events around the country. References to Wilder and her books continue to come up in American life. One book I read last year was titled, Little Blog on the Prairie. Fellman also touches upon, however, voices questioning the meaning of the Little House books or how they apply to modern life and discusses again the topic of revisionist history.

Chapter 7 ended up being an excellent chapter. It focused a good deal on Rose Wilder Lane's politics, Ronald Reagan, libertarians, the New Deal, and Progressives. Fellman touches upon "mainstream" values and how they are associated with the Little House books. It was an evenly handled chapter, so I can't complain. The Afterword is a nice wrap up.

In the end, I'm glad I read the book. I didn't enjoy it as much in the beginning, but overall Fellman approaches her discussion of Wilder's impact on American culture and the Little House books with an analytic, scholarly mind that gives a fair shake to all sides.

You can read my previous thoughts on this book by chapter at:

Part Five –

I purchased this book from Amazon. This review/discussion contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

No comments: