New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1936. First edition. Hardcover. 62pp. Duodecimo. Black boards. Title in black over red backstrip. Boards are mildly bowed. Small abrasion to front cover. Extremities are subtly bumped and scuffed. Endpapers are a bit yellowed, and the rear endpaper is mildly soiled. Very Good. Item #65088
Rose Wilder Lane is credited as a founder of the modern libertarian movement. As the only child of Laura Ingalls Wilder to survive past infancy, and the vigorous editor of the "Little House on the Prairie" series (a contribution kept quiet for decades), Lane lived a relatively non-traditional life for a woman of the era. Rose, with parents Laura and Almanzo, moved frequently as a child. She also traveled throughout the U.S. during a short lived marriage - her only. She gave birth in Salt Lake City during these years, but her son was stillborn. In later adulthood, Rose lived in Europe as an editorial assistant for the "San Francisco Bulletin." Though the early economic hardships of her family prevented her from pursuing formal higher education, she was an avid reader and spoke multiple languages. She also had an early and intense interest in government and politics. "Give Me Liberty" begins with the line "Sixteen years ago I was a communist." A trip to Russia turned the former communist supporter into an avowed individualist. Her devotion to libertarianism was full-fledged by the 1930s, even after the Great Depression - an event that caused many U.S. citizens to lose faith in the free market, and Lane personally to experience near financial ruin. In fact, this reversal of fortune forced her to return to the family farm, which ultimately led to the publication of "Little House in the Big Woods."
"Give Me Liberty" represents Rose's first published book of political thought. A shortened version, entitled "Credo," was printed in the Saturday Evening Post. Also published in a pamphlet format, the hardcover first edition is incredibly scarce.