Little Lie in the Big Woods

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For generations of Americans, Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved "Little House" books immortalized life on the Great Plains frontier. The saga of the gritty, independent pioneer family who survived blizzards and near-starvation spawned a TV series and inspired a presidential candidate. Now, they're being re-evaluated. Caroline Fraser's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography unravels the threads of fact and fiction in Wilder's work, uncovering truths she left out: the brutal displacement of native people, the environmental damage wreaked by white settlers, and the farming failures that broke families.

Fraser says the influential childhood epic created an American myth based on a lie or two. Confronting them sheds new light on the rifts and crises shaping the nation today.