Deborah Friedell writes:
Little House on the Prairie was Ronald Reagan’s favourite television programme and also, by some accounts, Saddam Hussein’s. It was based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s eight novels, which have now entered the Library of America as The Little House Books. Rose Wilder Lane, who wrote the books with her mother, intended them to be a defence of ‘the self-reliant, the independent, the courageous man’ whom she saw ‘penalised from every direction’, but especially by the New Deal, which was ‘killing what, to me, is the American pioneering spirit’. The books are a fantasy of self-sufficiency in its most charming form.