An autobiographical sketch of Rose Wilder Lane
Library of Congress, American Memory Collections, American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 - 1940. Images of original typewritten text also available.
"I am now a fundementalist American; give me time and I will tell you why individualism, laissez faire and the slightly restrained anarchy of capitalism offer the best opportunities for the development of the human spirit. Also I will tell you why the relative freedom of human spirit is better — and more productive, even in material ways — than the communist, Fascist, or any other rigidity organized for material ends."
Laissez Faire Books
"Journalist Lane (1886-1966) was one of the most inspiring libertarian authors of the 20th century. She is best known for Give Me Liberty (1939) and The Discovery of Freedom (1943). Albert Jay Nock admired her work, and she inspired Robert LeFevre, who established the fabled Freedom School in Colorado. Lane refused to authorize reprints of The Discovery of Freedom until she got around to revising it, which she never did, but after her death her literary executor and heir, Roger MacBride, helped bring the beloved classic back in print."
Rose Wilder Lane | Libertarianism.org
, by Cato Institute
, Mar 2003
Part of Cato's "Three Women Who Launched a Movement", celebrating during Women's History Month the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of The Discovery of Freedom
(as well as Isabel Paterson and Ayn Rand books published in the same year)
"Lane publicly disavowed her youthful socialism in a long 1936 article in the Saturday Evening Post titled 'Credo,' which was later reprinted as the pamphlet Give Me Liberty. ... During the early 40's, she wrote articles focusing on individualism, needlework, and sometimes both at once for Woman's Day and other magazines. She also began work on The Discovery of Freedom, which by her own account was written in a 'white heat.'"
Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education: Rose Wilder Lane - Libertarian
Biography (from Laissez Faire Books) and photograph
"Rose's mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, wrote story outlines about how she grew up on the American frontier, and as scholar William Holtz explained in his biography The Ghost in the Little House (1993), Rose transformed the outlines into eight magnificent Little House books which many readers consider the finest series of children's books ever written. These books are all about personal responsibility, self reliance, courage and love, and they captivate children as well as adults."
Freedom Fighters » Rose Wilder Lane
Quotation and links to selected online resources by and about Rose Wilder Lane
Rose Wilder Lane | Mises Institute
Includes picture, short profile and links to her works
"Rose Wilder Lane was one of the highest paid writers in the United States during her days as a journalist, war correspondent, and novelist. The daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, she was widely considered a silent collaborator on the Little House series. She lived from 1886 until 1968."
The Rose Wilder Lane Collection
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum; includes a lengthy "Scope and Content Note" as well as a listing of the individual papers
"The documentary legacy of Rose Wilder Lane and her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, encompassed in the holdings of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa. A journalist and philosopher, Lane also was the first biographer of Herbert Hoover. In fact, her work on 'The Making of Herbert Hoover' (1919) led to a friendship with the Great Humanitarian that lasted more than forty years."
Islam and the Discovery of Freedom: A Message of Liberty for Muslims and Non-Muslims Alike
, by George C. Leef
, The Freeman
, Sep 1998
Book review of Islam and the Discovery of Freedom
, based on Rose Wilder Lane's book, with an introduction and commentary by Imad-Ad-Dean Ahmad
"Far from being synonymous with intolerance and bloodshed, Islam has a history of peace and respect for individual rights. One famous exponent of freedom who knew that was Rose Wilder Lane. Her original book, The Discovery of Freedom, contains an abundance of information on the golden era of Islamic civilization, particularly the role that free markets played in that remarkably progressive and virtually stateless society."
Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968)
, Religion & Liberty
, Oct 1996
Short biographical note, based on Jim Powell's "Three Women Who Inspired the Modern Libertarian Movement", The Freeman
, May 1996
"According to Lane, because of the doctrine of monotheism, people came to believe in one creator God who judges men's actions, instead of a pantheist pantheon of capricious gods. Additionally, the laws of morality are woven into the fibre of creation and provide the guide for human behavior. It is from these doctrines, Lane argued, that the Christian conceptions of individual responsibility and self-control are derived; essential qualities for the preservation of a free society."
Rose Wilder Lane - Hero of the Day
, The Daily Objectivist
Includes excerpt of essay by Robert LeFevre on The Discovery of Freedom
"Rose Wilder Lane came out to the Freedom School in Colorado on various occasions and on one such instance undoubtedly saved the school from foreclosure. ... When Rose finally died, mourned and respected by all of us at the Freedom School, Roger MacBride, who was Rose Wilder Lane's protege, graciously granted me permission to make copies of the book. Of course I did."
Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and Ayn Rand: Three Women Who Inspired the Modern Libertarian Movement
, by Jim Powell
, The Freeman
, May 1996
Triple biographical essay on the women who in 1943 published The Discovery of Freedom
, The God of the Machine
and The Fountainhead
"... at one point during the 1930s she was so financially distressed that her electricity was shut off. Yet she soared with great eloquence as she helped revive the radical principles of the American Revolution, and she inspired millions of adults and children alike as the editor of the beloved 'Little House' books about individual responsibility, hard work, stubborn persistence, strong families, and human liberty."
The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder, One of America’s First Libertarians
, by David Boaz
, 9 May 2015
Focuses on Rose Wilder Lane's life and relates the influence of her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, as well as Wilder Lane's influence on Roger MacBride
"Laura's only child was Rose Wilder Lane. Lane was born in DeSmet, South Dakota, and grew up on her parents' Rocky Ridge Farm in Missouri. ... Lane wrote two novels of her own about her family's homestead ... But her interests turned more to politics, and she became a vociferous adversary of President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, which she saw as 'creeping socialism.' In the dark year of 1943, during World War II, Lane and two other remarkable women published books that could be said to have given birth to the modern Libertarian movement. Lane published a passionate historical book called The Discovery of Freedom."
The Libertarian Legacy of Rose Wilder Lane
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, 14 Apr 2010
Biographical essay on both Rose Wilder Lane and Roger MacBride, transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 30 Mar 2010 titled "Roger MacBride and Rose Wilder Lane: A Libertarian Legacy"
"Rose Wilder Lane ... was the daughter of Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls, who had moved from the Great Lakes region into the Dakota Territory in the late 1870s, determined to get for themselves some of the 'free land' offered to new settlers who would homestead a claim and work it and live on it for a minimum period of time. ... What was needed, Rose believed, was a political movement, which would unite writers, activists, teachers, propagandists, and politicians in favor of individual liberty. A 'libertarian movement' — that was her phrase."
35 Heroes of Freedom: Celebrating the people who have made the world groovier and groovier since 1968
, Dec 2003
List of individuals who, according to Reason
editors, have "have made the world a freer, better, and more libertarian place by example, invention, or action" (includes the unknown martyr of Tiananmen Square and a generic "The Yuppie")
"She was a prolific author in her own right and, along with Isabel Patterson and Ayn Rand, one of the three godmothers of modern libertarianism. Lane's The Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority remains a powerful statement about the evolution and necessity of individual rights."
Related Topics: Reason's 35 Heroes of Freedom
, Norman Borlaug
, Larry Flynt
, Milton Friedman
, Barry Goldwater
, Friedrich A. Hayek
, Robert A. Heinlein
, Jane Jacobs
, Willie Nelson
, Richard M. Nixon
, Ron Paul
, Ayn Rand
, Julian L. Simon
, Thomas S. Szasz
, Margaret Thatcher
, Philip R. Zimmermann
Cast a Giant Ballot: Roger MacBride Made the Libertarian Party the Most Important Third Party in America
, by Clifford F. Thies
, The Freeman
, Oct 1997
Memorial and biographical essay, discussing MacBride's influence on the early Libertarian Party as well as his involvement in the Little House
"As a young man, Roger MacBride was 'adopted' by Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls ... Ms. Lane's strain emphasized the Eastern (or 'Hebrew') concepts of emotion and community. Rose Wilder Lane, although herself something of an agnostic and a thoroughly cosmopolitan person, unabashedly presented the freedom philosophy as part of—indeed, as the essential part of—our Semitic religious tradition, and the defining feature of the American experience."
How to Become a Teacher
[PDF], by Robert LeFevre
, The Voluntaryist
, Feb 1983
Autobiographical summary of the events in LeFevre's life that led to the founding of the Freedom School
"... Laura Ingalls married a man named Wilder and Rose Wilder was their daughter. Later Rose married a man named Lane, hence, the name ... Rose clearly inherited her mother's talent for expression. 'Discovery' was a book that was so enthralling I read it through at one sitting. Perhaps more than any other single factor it was this book which provided motivation for me in what was to follow."
Isabel Paterson's Place in History
, by Doug French, 20 Jun 2011
Review of Stephen D. Cox's The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America
"Lane, like Rand, had the benefit of picking Paterson's brain, and Cox writes, 'It is possible that Lane derived many of her key concepts from her all-night conversations with Paterson.' However, Discovery and God of the Machine are very different books, as Cox points out: 'Libertarian readers have generally turned to Lane for emotional satisfaction and to Paterson for intellectual challenge.'"
Libertarianism and the Great Divide
, by Justin Raimondo
, 16 Mar 2007
Review of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism
"Rose Wilder Lane – the feisty author of the Little House on the Prairie books, and prolific libertarian polemicist of the 1940s and 50s, who refused to even sign up for Social Security, and quit her job when informed she had to – must be rolling in her grave. (Doherty’s portrait of her, by the way, is sympathetic, as well as extensive.)"
Give Me Liberty
Originally published as an article titled "Credo" in the Saturday Evening Post
; describes her experiences in and history of Soviet Russia and Europe, contrasting them with the history of the United States, emphasizing the individualist themes
"Every advance toward personal liberty which had been gained by the religious revolution and by the political revolution, was lost by the collectivist economic reaction. ... I came out of the Soviet Union no longer a communist, because I believed in personal freedom. Like all Americans, I took for granted the individual liberty to which I had been born. It seemed as necessary and as inevitable as the air I breathed; it seemed the natural element in which human beings lived."
Related Topics: Individual Liberty
, American Revolutionary War
, U.S. Bill of Rights
, Democratic Party
, Economic Resources
, Thomas Jefferson
, Nonviolent resistance
, Personal Responsibility
, Political Parties
, Republican Party
, United States
by Roger Lea MacBride
Last of eight books on the early life of Rose Wilder
The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane
by William Holtz, 1993
Partial contents: A Prairie Rose - Old Home Town
Growing Up in Mansfield - Bachelor Girl, Married Woman - Bulletin
Days - An Interlude and Herbert Hoover - "Come with Me to Europe" - The Road to Baghdad - The Albanian Experiment
Let the Hurricane Roar
Also known as Young Pioneers
The Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority
Partial contents: One: The Old World - The Pagan Faith - Communism - The Living Authorities - The Planned Economies - War - Two: The Revolution - The First Attempt - The Second Attempt - The Feudal System - The English Liberties - The Third Attempt
The story of two young newlyweds as they head west in search of a new homestead in the Dakotas