by E. L. Doctorow
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Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow

Published in 1975, Ragtime changed our very concept of what a novel could be. An extraordinary tapestry, Ragtime captures the spirit of America in the era between the turn of the century and the First World War.
The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home
of an affluent American family.
One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disap-
pears. Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, J. P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sig- mund Freud, and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale, crossing paths with Doctorow's imagined family and other fictional characters, including an immigrant peddler and a ragtime musician from Harlem whose insistence on a point of justice drives him to revolutionary violence.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with afford-
able hardbound editions of impor-
tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-
fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring
as its emblem the running torch-
bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-
gurating a new program of selecting titles. TheModern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780449214282
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/12/1987
Series: Vintage International Series
Pages: 352

About the Author

E. L. Doctorow’s works of fiction include Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, World’s Fair, Billy Bathgate, The Waterworks, City of God, The March, Homer & Langley, and Andrew’s Brain. Among his honors are the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle awards, two PEN/Faulkner awards, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, honoring a writer’s lifetime achievement in fiction, and in 2012 he won the PEN/ Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, given to an author whose “scale of achievement over a sustained career places him in the highest rank of American literature.” In 2013 the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the Gold Medal for Fiction. In 2014 he was honored with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.


Sag Harbor, New York, and New York, New York

Date of Birth:

January 6, 1931

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


A.B., Kenyon College, 1952; postgraduate study, Columbia University, 1952-53

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Ragtime 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the finest pieces of modern American literature. An amazing panorama that reads like All the King's Men in its scope and perspective.
Macaroni-Salad-Lover More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I had knew the musical of the same name. I decided to read it because of this. Filled with juicy sensual scenes and lots of historic facts, it really was a good story. However , by the end of the story. I didn't really feel a neeeed to ever pick up the book Again.
TheIcemanCometh More than 1 year ago
One of the absolute finest narratives of the 20th century--a great omniscient voice that weaves in and around events, pulling threads from real historical figures and events that at first seem to have been observed for their own sake, but then, like colors in a tapestry, return and connect, and expand. Extraordinary storytelling.
MrBogey More than 1 year ago
When asked a few years ago to name my 10 favorite books, there was no hesitation in listing Ragtime first. Doctorow is without peer as a storyteller and a master wordsmith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I remember the ads for the movie while growing up. While browsing in a B & N store, I came across it and picked it up. I liked all of the historical references for the time period, and how many of the giants of that time, celebrity, business, and political were all woven into the story. I would highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the musical better
jakerg More than 1 year ago
A well written book about the early 20th century great story.
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Marcus_Twain More than 1 year ago
This is actually the second time I've read this work. It's Wonderfully written. You'll enjoy this book. To parphrase Dickens, "It was the best of time; it was the worst of time. It was Ragtime
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Complex characters with simple names represent three very different groups of people in the magical and tumultuous time that was turn-of-the-twentieth-century America.
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