Cover image for Credo : The Rose Wilder Lane Story
Credo : The Rose Wilder Lane Story
Publication Information:
Farrar Straus & Giroux 2019

On Order

Bob Harkins Branch1Received on 5/3/19



The life story of the feminist founder of the American libertarian movement

Peter Bagge returns with a biography of another fascinating twentieth-century trailblazer--the writer, feminist, war correspondent, and libertarian Rose Wilder Lane. Following the popularity and critical acclaim of Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story and Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story , Credo: The Rose Wilder Lane Story is a fast-paced, charming, informative look at the brilliant Lane. Highly accomplished, she was a founder of the American libertarian movement and a champion of her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in bringing the classic Little House on the Prairie series to the American public.

Like Sanger and Hurston, Lane was an advocate for women's rights who led by example, challenging norms in her personal and professional life. Anti-government and anti-marriage, Lane didn't think that gender should hold anyone back from experiencing all the world had to offer. Though less well-known today, in her lifetime she was one of the highest-paid female writers in America and a political and literary luminary, friends with Herbert Hoover, Dorothy Thompson, Sinclair Lewis, and Ayn Rand, to name a few.

Bagge's portrait of Lane is heartfelt and affectionate, probing into the personal roots of her rugged individualism. Credo is a deeply researched dive into a historical figure whose contributions to American society are all around us, from the books we read to the politics we debate.

Author Notes

Cartoonist Peter Bagge is the Harvey Award-winning author of the acclaimed 1990s alternative comic series Hate , starring slacker hero Buddy Bradley, and a regular contributor to Reason magazine. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, he got his start in comics in the R. Crumb-edited magazine Weirdo. Bagge has published two critically acclaimed books with Drawn & Quarterly: 2017's Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story and 2013's Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Joanne, daughter, and three cats.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The idiosyncratic, independent life and work of Rose Wilder Lane-Laura Ingalls Wilder's conservative daughter-gets its due in this spiky graphic biography by Bagge (Fire! The Zora Neale Hurston Story). Bagge's affinity for rendering characters as toothy, rubber-limbed ranters and ravers dovetails neatly with Lane's wild emotional extremes. Born in 1886 in South Dakota, Lane was raised in the Missouri Ozarks after her parents gave up on homesteading. Restless, adventuresome, and bipolar, Lane heads to San Francisco in the early 1900s, where, after an unhappy marriage and a suicide attempt, she becomes a writer. By 1918, Lane is churning out serialized romances and fictionalized biographies (Charlie Chaplin threatened to sue over his). In the decades after, she pursues a bifurcated life: one part as a well-paid women's magazine writer and world traveler, and another as a Missouri homebody not-so-secretly helping her ungrateful mother write the Little House on the Prairie series. Her strong libertarian turn ("F.D.R.'s 'New Deal' is more like a deal with the devil") is given a sympathetic treatment by Bagge, himself a Reason contributor. Yet while he defends her against charges of being an Ayn Rand clone, he admits she was a "conspiracy theorist embarrassingly prone to hyperbole." This loopy, frantic, and personality-packed tribute is fitting for one of America's lesser-known gonzo feminist writers. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.