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. The ModernLibrary continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
"From the Hardcover edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - madepercy - LibraryThing
This is exactly the type of novel I enjoy most. If I wear to sum it up succinctly, I would say it was the precursor to Forrest Gump but with multiple protagonists intertwined with historical events ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - bell7 - LibraryThing
An unnamed family (Father, Mother, Grandfather, Mother's Younger Brother, and the boy) live in New Rochelle, NY at the turn of the century. Their family intersects with a variety of historical people ... Read full review