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by E.L. Doctorow

Harry Houdini astonishes audiences with magical feats of escape, the mighty J. P. Morgan dominates the financial world and Henry Ford manufactures cars by making men into machines. Emma Goldman preaches free love and feminism, while ex-chorus girl Evelyn Nesbitt inspires a mad millionaire to murder the architect Stanford White.

In this stunningly original chronicle of an age, such real-life characters intermingle with three remarkable families, one black, one Jewish and one prosperous WASP, to create a dazzling literary mosaic that brings to life an era of dire poverty, fabulous wealth, and incredible change – in short, the era of ragtime.

Winner, 1975 National Book Critics Circle Awards.

“One of the best ten books of the decade!”  Time

“A unique and beautiful work of art about American destiny, built of fact and logical fantasy, governed by music heard and sensed, responsive to cinema, shaken by a continental pulse… written exquisitely… Doctorow has added a grace to our history.”  Saturday Review

“An extraordinary deft, lyrical, rich novel that catches the spirit of the country… In a fluid musical way that is as original as it is satisfying.” The New Yorker

“As exhilarating as a deep breath of oxygen… a remarkable achievement… Doctorow has found a fresh way to orchestrate the themes of America innocence, energy, and ambition.” Newsweek

“An extraordinary fictional tapestry… Once in there’s no possible way out expect through the last page.”  The New Republic


01 January, 1975

About E.L. Doctorow

E. L. Doctorow’s works of fiction include Homer & Langley, The March, Billy Bathgate, Ragtime, The Book of Daniel, City of God, Welcome to Hard Times, Loon Lake, World’s Fair, The Waterworks, and All the Time in the World.  Among his honours are the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle awards, two PEN/Faulkner awards, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. In 2009 he was short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize honouring 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.


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