"The lives of three remarkable families become entwined with Henry Ford, Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan, Theodore Dreiser, Sigmund Freud, and Emiliano Zapata at the turn of the century." "The lives of an upper-middle-class family in New Rochelle; a black ragtime musician who loses his beloved, his child, and his life because of bigotry; and a poor immigrant Jewish family are interwoven in this early-twentieth-century story. There are cameo appearances by well-known figures of that period: Houdini, anarchist Emma Goldman, actress Evelyn Nesbit, Henry Ford, and J.P. Morgan, whose magnificent library plays an important part in the story. The book mingles fact and fiction in portraying the era of ragtime." Shapiro. Fic for Youth. 3rd ed.