Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser

Prairie Fires

The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie booksOne of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the YearMillions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls—the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true saga of her life h...

Details Prairie Fires

TitlePrairie Fires
Release DateNov 21st, 2017
PublisherMetropolitan Books
GenreNonfiction, Biography, History, Biography Memoir, Historical

Reviews Prairie Fires

  • Julie
    Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser is a 2017 Metropolitan Books publication.‘All that I have told is true, but it is not the whole truth’This is an incredible biography of the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder of ‘The Little House on Prairie’ fame. To say this book on Wilder's life is comprehensive would be an understatement. Caroline Fraser paints a vivid portrait of the beloved author, but still pre...
  • Jennifer
    Y'all Rose Wilder Lane was THE WORST.
  • Matt
    “If [Laura Ingalls] Wilder’s life was triumphant…it was a different kind of triumph than we are accustomed to recognizing. She wrote no laws, led no one into battle, waged no campaigns. If we listen to her, we can hear what she was telling us. Life in frontier times was a perpetual hard winter. There was joy…but it was fleeting. There was heroism, but it was the heroism of daily perseverance, the unprized tenacity of unending labor. It wa...
  • Brina
    Spring is my favorite season. It is a time of rebirth, the new baseball season, and the Pulitzer announcement. While not a fan of awards shows that drag for hours, I giddily await the Pulitzer Prize reveal each year with anticipation. It is an ongoing, open ended goal of mine to read as many Pulitzer winners as possible over the course of my lifetime. Whether I enjoy the content or not, the books are usually well written and a joy to read. This y...
  • Beverly
    At 515 pages, Prairie Fires asks for a chunk of your time, but I found myself more and more enthralled by it as I read deeper into Laura Ingalls Wilder's fascinating life. What Carolyn Fraser does is tell you the truth behind the fantasy of the Little House books. Fraser is a prodigious researcher, but never pedantic or trite. She writes as Wilder did with the directness and honesty true to her subject. The most riveting part of the book for me w...
  • Beth Cato
    I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.When I visited Laura Ingalls Wilder's farmhouse and museum in Mansfield, Missouri, last year, it felt like a pilgrimage to me. Seeing Pa's fiddle, walking where Laura walked, was a soul-deep experience for me. Her Little House books had a major impact on my life and making me the author I am today.I have read several biographies of Wilder over the past two years, including the ...
  • Diane
    "Prairie Fires" is one of my favorite biographies I read in 2017. It's about the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but there is so much social history here that it's also the story of the American plains. Homesteaders. Indians. Wolves. Railroads. Market crashes. Drought. Tornadoes. Blizzards. And of course, devastating, all-consuming fires. I grew up reading the "Little House" books about Laura Ingalls, and like millions of children, I loved them. Be...
  • Clif Hostetler
    This book is marketed and generally reviewed as the definitive biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House series of books. My description is a bit different.This Pulitzer Prize winning book came across to me as a verbal Venn diagram consisting of three major biographies of; (1) Laura Ingalls Wilder, (2) her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, and (3) the Little House books themselves which seem to have a continuing life of their own by ...
  • Cynthia
    I know I’m not the only one whose love of reading was sparked by Ingalls Wilder’s books. Prairie Fires is, of course, about Wilder and her family but along the way Fraser provides an enlightening chronicle of American history focusing on the issue of how Native Americans were treated. We always think of Abraham Lincoln as the great emancipator but his record with legislation regarding land preserved and taken away from the first Americans was...
  • Laura
    Wow, this just won a Pulitzer Prize for best biography or autobiography. Even though I gave it only four stars, it really is an amazing read, and opens your eyes.----My father was a young man when the Depression hit, in 1929. And although the line of work he was in, first building movie stars home, and then working for the studios building sets, did not suffer, the rest of his family did. He was, if not the sole supporter of his family, of his fo...
  • Catie
    Enjoyed this biography about Laura Ingalls Wilder, especially since Wilder is the author who made me the reader that I am. Well researched, intelligent and an incredibly detailed background about the period in history during which the Ingalls, Laura, Almanzo and Rose Wilder Lane grew up. BUT, this book also made the real characters quite unlikeable. I realize that the true story behind the Little House books was a lot more stark, harsh and depres...
  • Rana
    Don't tell anybody but I can't finish this. I'm just to the point where Laura is finally starting to write the goddamned books but jesus wearing a sun bonnet, if I have to read anymore about Rose, I will poke my eyes out. I am 100% here for Laura and 0% here for Rose and her fucking buying and remodeling houses.
  • Gretchen Rubin
    I've been an ardent fan of the work of Laura Ingalls Wilder since I was a little girl. I remember my father reading them to me, before I could read myself, and every Christmas for several years, Santa Claus would bring me a book. So I was fascinated to read this thorough account of the life of LIW and also her daughter Rose Wilder Lane -- who played a big role in the Little House books. So many interesting details...such as the fact that LIW hadn...
  • Anna H
    Caroline Fraser writes as effectively as David McCullough or Ron Chernow as a biographer in her ability to tell a great story and get the subjects she's describing down to their complicated personalities and relationships. This is a tall order with really high expectations for her intended audience: the international, multi-generational fan base of Little House fans -- but she did it well. Fraser covered a lot of the same ground from the annotate...
  • Chris
    Very close to five stars for me. (And this is coming from someone who never read a single Laura Ingalls Wilder book or saw a single episode of "Little House on the Prairie.")
  • Louise
    This biography is thorough, interpretive and page turning. It digests enormous research on the Ignalls-Wilder family and the history of and US policy regarding the areas in which they traveled. It shows how the Homesteading Act and homesteading itself, climate/ecology, and cultural and official attitudes towards poverty buffeted this family. You learn the real story of Charles and Caroline Ignalls which their daughter heavily air brushed in her v...
  • Linda Hart
    This is an excessively detailed history/biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and has been hailed to be "the most complete and unvarnished biography of LIW ever published." I found the book tedious but "Little House on the Prairie" devotees wil likely revel in it. At 600+ pages I suggest the reader skip the 2nd part of the book which is primarly about LIW's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who was a truly unlikeable person. The 3rd and final part of the b...
  • Sue
    I came for Laura Ingalls Wilder and I got one of the best American history lessons I've ever gotten from a biography. I've read almost every LIW biography out there or have it on my TBR list. I didn't go into this expecting to learn a lot new about her life or her relationship with her daughter Rose and I didn't -- although the question surrounding the year of Almanzo's birth was a new revelation. If you aren't well schooled on her life, you will...
  • Lauren
    Anyone with an interest in post-Civil War American history as well as a love of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series should seriously consider investing their time in this book. (Make no mistake, it’s an investment. I’ve read longer books, but this one is incredibly dense...dense, but worth it.) Meticulously researched, the vast amount and scope of information managed to maintain my interest and the author made everything relevant to Wilder and he...
  • Robin
    Fraser has done exhaustive research into the life and times of Laura, husband Almanzo, daughter Rose, and other figures that were involved in their lives, which has resulted in the most complete and unvarnished biography of LIW ever published. Also included are 80+ pages of extensive footnotes of books, unpublished documents, letters, and more, which are almost as interesting as the main text. As a huge fan of anything Laura Ingalls Wilder, I was...
  • Naberius
    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, Caroline Fraser gives fresh insight into the life of a woman beloved to many, and whose life everyone has known about through the Little House books. I found this book to be fascinating. I h...
  • Evan
    I received an advance reading copy of this book, for free, through Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for my honest review.Growing up, I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books and was a fan of the 1970s television series Little House on the Prairie. Caroline Fraser’s Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, billed as “The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder”, is a book I was l...
  • Deanne Patterson
    Like so many of you I got my love of reading historical fiction as a child after reading the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This is an immensely researched gritty historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I learned so much after reading this it was though I were visiting old friends and they were explaining to me how things used to be during this time period. It's really amazing how anyone survived this time period...
  • Helga Cohen
    This was a fascinating Pulitzer Prize winning book about Laura Ingalls Wilder. The author Caroline Fraser did exhaustive research on the author of the wildly popular Little House children’s series. The author delves deeply into the truth behind these semi-autobiographical books. Fraser researched the subject and times with directness and honesty and explored the truths and falseness in the books. Extremely interesting sections of the book dealt...
  • Kathleen
    Wow. The amount of research by author Caroline Fraser is impressive. The final 20% of the book consists of detailed notes, many of them cite handwritten letters, journals, and manuscripts. Often the author notes differences between the handwritten manuscript written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the edited version submitted by her daughter and editor, Rose Wilder Lane, or the final published copy. I think it is fair to refer to this research as exh...
  • Melissa
    As children of the 60's and 70's, my husband and I were raised with both the children's book series and the television show. Both of us agree that the first part of Prairie Fires was very interesting, delving into Laura Ingalls Wilder's family history and early life. We're talking about Indian wars, settlers, locusts, rowdy towns, name it. That part of this book was a solid five stars. Thereafter, we grew rather sleepy and bored, on...
  • Betty
    How much do you know about Laura Ingalls Wilder? If you've only read her Little House books and/or watched Little House on the Prairie on television, you probably don't know as much as you think you do. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder explores the life of the beloved author (as well as that of her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane). Shedding light on little-known facts about the Ingalls and Wilder families—as well as the h...
  • Carin
    I am a HUGE Laura Ingalls Wilder fan. So much so that I have visited both THE Little House on the Prairie, and also Laura and Almanzo's home in Mansfield, Missouri where Laura wrote all of her novels. I have read the annotated Pioneer Girl. I have read a lot of random Laura Ingalls Wilder books that most people haven't. I have even taken an online course about her.When I found out that a publisher at my new company had the first straightforward t...
  • Diana
    Congratulations to the author for winning the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, it was definitely deserved. Book received from NetGalley.Read for #NonfictionNovember Love Category, and #TomeToppleI could not wait to get my hands on this book when I saw it was being published. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and my wonderful sister in law bought me a finished copy for Christmas. I had not read a great biography of the writer since reading Zo...