Ragtime E L Doctorow Essay Contest

A number of readers, including this one, had a problem with E. L. Doctorow’s best-known and best-selling novel, “Ragtime” (1975). Brilliantly written in a ricky-ticky ragtime prose, the book not only mingled the American celebrities of 1902 (Harry Houdini, J. P. Morgan) with the typical and the obscure (the narrator’s upper-middle-class New Rochelle family, the tenement-dwelling Jewish artist Tateh and his daughter) but had the historical figures do things and achieve conjunctions that never transpired—the rich killer Harry Thaw stripping naked and banging his penis between the bars of his cell at the Tombs while Houdini watches, radical Emma Goldman relieving scandalous Evelyn Nesbit of her corset and giving her a loving oil massage. It smacked of playing with helpless dead puppets, and turned the historical novel into a gravity-free, faintly sadistic game. Doctorow is a stranger writer than he at first seems; his fiction, though generous with the conventional pleasures of dramatic plot, colorful characters, and information-rich prose, yet challenges the reader with a puckish truculence. His novels and short stories generally seek the shelter of a bygone period in which to take root; when they are set in the present, like “City of God” (2000), an imp of modernist experimentation and fantasy goes wild. Even his tenderest, most autobiographical, and least souped-up work, “The World’s Fair” (1985), builds to a climactic scene in which naked women underwater are molested by Oscar the Amorous Octopus. His recent collection, “Sweet Land Stories” (2004), held five stories—four of them published in this magazine—that, like his novella “The Waterworks” (1994) and the prize-winning novel “Billy Bathgate” (1989), tingle with their injections of the murderous and the macabre.

His splendid new novel, “The March” (Random House; $29.95), pretty well cures my Doctorow problem. A many-faceted recounting of General William Tecumseh Sherman’s famous, and in some quarters still infamous, march of sixty-two thousand Union soldiers, in 1864-65, through Georgia and then the Carolinas, it combines the author’s saturnine strengths with an elegiac compassion and prose of a glittering, swift-moving economy. The novel shares with “Ragtime” a texture of terse episodes and dialogue shorn, in avant-garde fashion, of quotation marks, but has little of the older book’s distancing jazz, its impudent, mocking shuffle of facts; it celebrates its epic war with the stirring music of a brass marching band heard from afar, then loud and up close, and finally receding over the horizon. Reading historical fiction, we often itch, our curiosity piqued, to consult a book of straight history, to get to the facts without the fiction. But “The March” stimulates little such itch; it offers an illumination, fitful and flickering, of a historic upheaval that only fiction could provide. Doctorow here appears not so much a reconstructor of history as a visionary who seeks in time past occasions for poetry. At the novel’s outset, black slaves in Georgia see a brown tint in the sky, “as if the world was turned upside down”:

**{: .break one} ** And, as they watched, the brown cloud took on a reddish cast. It moved forward, thin as a hatchet blade in front and then widening like the furrow from the plow. . . . When the sound of this cloud reached them, it was like nothing they had ever heard in their lives. It was not fearsomely heaven-made, like thunder or lightning or howling wind, but something felt through their feet, a resonance, as if the earth was humming. Then, carried on a gust of wind, the sound became for moments a rhythmic tromp that relieved them as the human reason for the great cloud of dust. **

Sherman’s march is conjured up as a human entity as large as the weather, a “floating world” that destroys as it goes and carries along some living fragments. It is a revolution in motion—“On the march is the new way to live. . . . The world was remade, everything become something else”—bringing in its wake a crowd of freed slaves that reaches many thousands in number. It picks up a pair of Confederate soldiers, Will Kirkland and Arly Wilcox, who were waiting in prison to be executed, respectively, for desertion and for sleeping on picket duty, and who, released to fight in a battle, change into Union uniforms and are in turn captured by the Confederates and, in the fog of war, let loose again. Two respectable Southern women, Mattie Jameson and Emily Thompson, their homes invaded and abandoned, join the march and find employment and protection on the staff of an Army surgeon, Colonel Wrede Sartorius, a German-born “neatly put-together man who seemed inviolate in the carnage around him,” and whom Doctorow readers have previously met as the embodiment of cold-blooded science in “The Waterworks.” Among the black followers of the march are Emily’s housemaid Wilma Jones, who is saved from drowning by a handsome banjo-playing enlistee in the Negro construction-working “pioneers”; his name is Coalhouse Walker, and he will be the father of Coalhouse Walker, Jr., the noblest figure in “Ragtime.”

Mattie Jameson’s husband, John, has fathered a child by a female slave, and the child, called Pearl, looks white, and passes for a time as a Union drummer boy. She acquires literacy and nursing skills on the march, plus the love of an Irish-American New Yorker, Stephen Walsh, who of all this horde of characters seems closest to Doctorow’s own point of view—an illusionless skeptic, yet capable of courage and love. Walsh and Pearl head into the future, but part of their future’s relative brightness rests on her apparent whiteness, a moral conundrum that afflicts her with a grave case of that twentieth-century complaint, liberal guilt. Her name borrowed from the elfin child in Hawthorne’s masterpiece, her presence dusted with the magic realism of a Toni Morrison novel, Pearl is hard to picture, though we are assured that she becomes beautiful. She also becomes almost superhuman; in the aftermath of a battle, she reunites Mattie, by now a widow, with her only surviving son, while briskly lecturing both of them on their past sins under the slave system.

Pearl is the most sympathetic character in “The March,” the one we root for, but her ability to do everything right opens the author to the charge of sentimentality, to which white writers on the evils of slavery are understandably prone. There is not an unkind or unwise black character in the book. One old plantation owner is allowed a speech, harsh with self-righteous paternalism, of some eloquence, but John Jameson personifies the slave system’s inhuman brutality: as the march approaches, he sells off a dozen field hands with the vow “No buck nigger of mine will wear a Federal uniform, I’ll promise you that,” and he turns out the docile and elderly Roscoe with the explanation that he’d “got the best out of Roscoe and what was left wasn’t worth providing for.” Doctorow offers, through the mind of Stephen Walsh, a dystopian vision of a South where the institution was perpetuated indefinitely:

**{: .break one} ** In this strange country down here, after generations of its hideous ways, slaves were no longer simply black, they were degrees of white. Yes, he thought, if the South were to prevail, theoretically there could be a time when whiteness alone would not guarantee the identity of a free man. Anyone might be indentured and shackled and sold on an auction block, the color black having been a temporary expedient, the idea of a slave class itself being the underlying premise. **

The march also collects, to round out this partial roll call, a black child, David, who flees the plantation mansion to attach himself to an English journalist and reluctant foster father, Hugh Pryce; and a black photographer, Calvin Harper, who is partially blinded in saving General Sherman’s life, a deed for which he receives no thanks and is nearly executed. Sherman himself, the directing brain behind the great plow-shaped cloud of dust, makes an unprepossessing first appearance, on a horse too small for him, “so that his feet practically touched the ground. He was not at all military-looking, with his tunic covered with dust and half unbuttoned, and a handkerchief tied at his neck, an old beaten-up cap, and a cigar stub in his mouth, and a red beard with streaks of gray.” Doctorow’s leftish anti-establishmentarianism does not, as “The March” moves from the realm of freed slaves and disenfranchised women up into the councils of the powerful, indict the leaders of the Union. Sherman is portrayed as an insomniac brandytippler with an odd fondness for a soldier’s spartan life, but his fire of purpose and his strategic intelligence are admired as heroic. He sheds a deflected paternal love on little Pearl when she is masquerading as a drummer boy, gallantly receives his enemy General Joe Johnston as a fellow-member of the West Point aristocracy, and shows a theatrical literary streak that is endearing. He is openly emotional, telling Pearl, “Sometimes I want to cry, too.” As the novel approaches its end, and its fiction becomes more historical and less visionary, Sherman and Grant and Lincoln have a shipboard conference on the James River. The effect is as gentle as a salted-paper print, and the conversations are scarcely more than a murmur. Seen through the eyes of Wrede Sartorius, who is present, Grant is “rather short, stocky, brown beard of a thick texture, a quiet man clearly not interested in making any kind of impression, unlike Sherman, who didn’t seem to be able to stop talking,” and Lincoln is “someone eaten away by life, with eyes pained and a physiognomy almost sepulchral.” The doctor professionally observes that “Grant’s color was good, and his eyes only slightly bloodshot,’’ and Lincoln, who wears a shawl and “the weak, hopeful smile of the sick,” may have “some sort of hereditary condition, a syndrome of overdeveloped extremities and rude features.” It measures the book’s largeness of sympathy that, unsparingly and repetitively as it details the carnage of the Civil War—“war at its purest, a mindless mass rage severed from any cause, ideal or moral principle”; a “monumentality of human disaster’’—it spares respect and even affection for those whose decisions propel the ordeal onward. An especially poignant glimpse of leadership in action comes early in the book, and involves “boys from the Georgia Military Institute who had been given the honor of bearing the brunt of an attack”:

**{: .break one} ** Over on the other side the terrain was less swampy, and in the mossy glades Milledgeville cadets lay dead or wounded behind their logs and mounds of earth. Boys without a scratch on them wandered in a daze. Some were crying. Cadet officers went among them, pushing them back to their positions, slapping them, to make them obey. **

Doctorow, at ease in the nineteenth century, demonstrates an impressive familiarity with military logistics and tactics prior to fully mechanized warfare, including the grim fate of horses, who not only suffer battle wounds but are slain by the armies to make way for newer ones. Arly explains, “An army works its animals near to death so on a re’glar basis it rids itself of its consumed-up animals.” The smell of their many bloated corpses on the banks of the Cape Fear River in Fayetteville is terrible. The floating world of the march, with its sixty thousand unbathing men and all their excrement, can be smelled at a distance. Emily, setting out to become a camp follower, “knew the direction the armies had taken. You just followed the roads that were beaten down, and before long you would hear a sound not natural to the countryside. And then you would smell them.” Medical procedures of the time are rendered with special, well-researched fidelity, and they include not only the lightning-fast amputations of the field tent but a delicate, truly clinical detail unique in my reading of sex scenes: virgin Emily about to give herself, after long infatuation, to Wrede Sartorius, “heard him open his instrument case. To spare you pain, he said, standing above her, I will do this small procedure. You will feel only a slight sting. And she felt his fingers dilating her, and then it was just as he said, and there was no blood to speak of.”

The writing, solid and speedy in the modern manner, is subtly tinged with older usages. Sherman reflects upon “our civil war, the devastating manufacture of the bones of our sons.” Grant observes that the President “can only wait on our news, sitting in Washington without the hell-may-care that comes from a good battle.” One battle carries into “the declivitous patch in sight of the plantation house.” Birds sing “softer, twittier songs, like the birds knew full well what a fearful war was around them.” Asked by Arly, “Are you for religion, young Will?,” Will answers, as naturally as you please, “I never did countenance it.” Victorian fancywork inflects the narrative voice: “The city of Fayetteville was of a dark blue aspect, as if the abstract color had found an organic vestiture for itself.” The voice of the black South, which comes on heavy in Pearl’s early appearances (“Nobody doan never have touch Porhl! When I little, de brudder try. Oh yeah. I raise up dis bony knee hard in his what he got dere, and dat were dat and nobody since!”), is lightly caught in such a piece of dialogue as Wilma’s saying, “Judge Thompson’s who I was bound to.” Arly, who turns out to be demented as well as highly verbal, sports the rhetoric of the white South as he expostulates to innocent Will on the joys of copulation:

**{: .break one} ** “And when we go inside them, plum into their beings, and they cry out in our ear and we feel there is nothing softer, warmer, or more honeyed up in God’s world than what embraces our stiff tool, and we are made by God to shiver into them the issue of our loins, well, boy, don’t talk to me about what you don’t know.” **

Poetry enters prose in such a simple surreal touch as Emily noticing, of her dead father’s face, “With the eyes closed, the nose seemed to grow,” and in such a simple description of physical desolation as “She had turned into the spacious yards of a manse that had seen some fire. The front was scorched, the roof shingles half torn away, and tree vines out front hanging black and limp like dead snakes.” “The March” carries us through a multitude of moments of wonder and pity, terror and comedy, to the triumph of Southern surrender and the sudden tragedy of Lincoln’s assassination. Sherman’s march is large enough, American myth enough, to pull even a laggard recruit along, and to hold Doctorow’s busy imagination fast to the reality of history even as he refreshes our memory of it. ♦

E. L. Doctorow

Doctorow in 2014

BornEdgar Lawrence Doctorow
(1931-01-06)January 6, 1931
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
DiedJuly 21, 2015(2015-07-21) (aged 84)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
OccupationWriter, editor, professor
ResidenceNew York City
Alma materKenyon College, Columbia University
Notable worksThe Book of Daniel
World's Fair
Billy Bathgate
The March
Homer & Langley
SpouseHelen Esther Setzer (m. 1953–2015; his death)

Edgar Lawrence "E. L." Doctorow (January 6, 1931 – July 21, 2015) was an American novelist, editor, and professor, best known internationally for his works of historical fiction. He has been described as one of the most important American novelists of the 20th century.

He wrote twelve novels, three volumes of short fiction and a stage drama. They included the award-winning novels Ragtime (1975), Billy Bathgate (1989), and The March (2005). These, like many of his other works, placed fictional characters in recognizable historical contexts, with known historical figures, and often used different narrative styles. His stories were recognized for their originality and versatility, and Doctorow was praised for his audacity and imagination.[1]

A number of Doctorow's novels were also adapted for the screen, including, Welcome to Hard Times (1967), with Henry Fonda, Daniel (1983), starring Timothy Hutton, and Billy Bathgate (1991) starring Dustin Hoffman. His most notable adaptations were for the film Ragtime (1981) and the Broadwaymusical of the same name (1998), which won four Tony Awards.

Doctorow was the recipient of numerous writing awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Ragtime, National Book Critics Circle Award for Billy Bathgate, National Book Critics Circle Award for The March, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction. Former President Barack Obama called him "one of America's greatest novelists".[2]

Early life[edit]

Doctorow was born in the Bronx, the son of Rose (Levine) and David Richard Doctorow, second-generation Americans of Russian Jewish extraction who named him after Edgar Allan Poe.[3] His father ran a small music shop.[4] He attended city public grade schools and Bronx Science where, surrounded by mathematically gifted children, he fled to the office of the school literary magazine, Dynamo, which published his first literary effort. He then enrolled in a journalism class to increase his opportunities to write.[5]

Doctorow attended Kenyon College in Ohio, where he studied with John Crowe Ransom, acted in college theater productions and majored in philosophy. While at Kenyon College, Doctorow joined the Middle Kenyon Association, and befriended Richard H. Collin.[6][7] After graduating with honors in 1952, he completed a year of graduate work in English drama at Columbia University before being drafted into the United States Army. In 1954 and 1955, he served as a corporal in the signal corps in Germany.[8][9]

Back in New York after military service, Doctorow worked as a reader for a motion picture company; reading so many Westerns inspired his first novel, Welcome to Hard Times. Begun as a parody of western fiction, it evolved into a reclamation of the genre.[10] It was published to positive reviews in 1960, with Wirt Williams of the New York Times describing it as "taut and dramatic, exciting and successfully symbolic."[11]

When asked how he decided to become a writer, he said, "I was a child who read everything I could get my hands on. Eventually, I asked of a story not only what was to happen next, but how is this done? How am I made to live from words on a page? And so I became a writer."[12]


"When you'd read Edgar's manuscripts, it was done. That's just the kind of writer he was; he got everything right the first time. I can't think of any editorial problem we had. Even remotely. Nothing."

Jason Epstein, Doctorow's book editor[13]

To support his family, Doctorow spent nine years as a book editor, first at NAL working with Ian Fleming and Ayn Rand among others; and from 1964, as editor-in-chief at Dial Press, publishing work by James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Ernest J. Gaines, and William Kennedy, among others.[14][15][16]

In 1969, Doctorow left publishing to pursue a writing career. He accepted a position as Visiting Writer at the University of California, Irvine, where he completed The Book of Daniel (1971),[17] a freely fictionalized consideration of the trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for giving nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was widely acclaimed, called a "masterpiece" by The Guardian, and said by The New York Times to launch the author into "the first rank of American writers" according to Christopher Lehmann-Haupt.[18]

Doctorow's next book, written in his home in New Rochelle, New York, was Ragtime (1975), later named one of the 100 best novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library editorial board.[19] His subsequent work includes the award-winning novels World's Fair (1985), Billy Bathgate (1989), and The March (2005), as well as several volumes of essays and short fiction.

Novelist Jay Parini is impressed by Doctorow's skill at writing fictionalized history in a unique style, "a kind of detached but arresting presentation of history that mingled real characters with fictional ones in ways that became his signature manner".[20] In Ragtime, for example, he arranges the story to include Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung sharing a ride at Coney Island, or a setting with Henry Ford and J. P. Morgan.[20]

Despite the immense research Doctorow needed to create stories based on real events and real characters, reviewer John Brooks notes that they were nevertheless "alive enough never to smell the research in old newspaper files that they must have required".[1] Doctorow demonstrated in most of his novels "that the past is very much alive, but that it's not easily accessed," writes Parini. "We tell and retell stories, and these stories illuminate our daily lives. He showed us again and again that our past is our present, and that those not willing to grapple with 'what happened' will be condemned to repeat its worst errors."[20]

Doctorow also taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Yale School of Drama, the University of Utah, the University of California, Irvine, and Princeton University. He was the Loretta and Lewis Glucksman Professor of English and American Letters at New York University. In 2001 he donated his papers to the Fales Library of New York University. The library's director, Marvin Taylor, said Doctorow was "one of the most important American novelists of the 20th century".[21]

Personal life and death[edit]

In 1954, Doctorow married fellow Columbia University student Helen Esther Setzer while serving in the U.S. Army in West Germany.[22][23] The couple had three children: Richard, Jenny, and Caroline.[14]

He died of lung cancer on July 21, 2015, aged 84, in Manhattan.[24] He is interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

Awards and honors[edit]



Short story collections[edit]


  • 1978: Drinks Before Dinner[47]


  • 1982: American Anthem (photographic essay)[48]
  • 1993: Jack London, Hemingway and the Constitution (essay collection, published in the UK as Poets and Presidents)[49]
  • 2003: Reporting the Universe, Harvard University Press
  • 2006: Creationists (essay collection)[50]
  • 2008: "Wakefield" (short story), The New Yorker, January 14, 2008
  • 2012: "Unexceptionalism: A Primer" (op-ed), The New York Times, April 28, 2012

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ab"E. L. Doctorow Dies at 84; Literary Time Traveler Stirred Past Into Fiction", The New York Times, July 21, 2015
  2. ^"US novelist EL Doctorow dies at 84", BBC, July 22, 2015
  3. ^Wutz, Michael. "The E.L. Doctorow I Remember", Newsweek, July 22, 2015
  4. ^Intersections: E.L. Doctorow on Rhythm and Writing, June 28, 2004.
  5. ^American Conversation: E. L. Doctorow, September 25, 2008.
  6. ^"Literary giant". Kenyon News. Gambier, OH: Kenyon College. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  7. ^"A group of Middle Kenyon (non-fraternal) residents in 1952. Included are Roger Hecht '55, Richard H. Collin '54, E.L. Doctorow '52, William T. Goldhurst '53, Martin Nemer '52, Harvey Robbin III '52, and Stanford B. Benjamin '53."Kenyon News. Gambier, OH: Kenyon College. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  8. ^"Beloved Historical Fiction Author E.L. Doctorow Dead At 84", Huffington Post, July 21, 2015
  9. ^"E.L. Doctorow, acclaimed author of historical fiction, dies at 84", PBS, July 21, 2015
  10. ^"Interview: E.L. Doctorow discusses the art of writing and his new book of essays, Reporting the Universe". Talk of the Nation. NPR. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  11. ^Williams, Wirt. "'Welcome to Hard Times'", New York Times, September 25, 1960
  12. ^"EL Doctorow, author of Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, dies in New York aged 84", The Guardian, U.K., July 22, 2015
  13. ^"E.L. Doctorow’s Longtime Editor: 'No One Could Possibly Say a Bad Word About Him'", Vanity Fair, July 22, 2015
  14. ^ ab"E L Doctorow, author – obituary". The Telegraph. July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  15. ^ abcHomberger, Eric (July 22, 2015). "EL Doctorow obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  16. ^Jones, Malcolm (July 21, 2015). "E.L. Doctorow's Readers Were Guaranteed a Good Time". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  17. ^Robinson, Will (July 21, 2015). "E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime author, dies at 84". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  18. ^Review of 'The Book of Daniel', The New York Times, June 7, 1971.
  19. ^"Modern Library: 100 Best Novels". Random House. Retrieved September 5, 2008.
  20. ^ abc"E.L. Doctorow's gift", CNN, July 22, 2015
  21. ^"From Ragtime to Our Time E.L. Doctorow Donates His Papers to NYU’S Fales Library", New York University, April 19, 2001
  22. ^Contemporary Jewish-American Novelists: A Bio-critical Sourcebook (1997) by Joel Shatzky and Michael Taub, pp. 54
  23. ^Woo, Elaine (July 21, 2015). "E.L. Doctorow dies at 84; 'Ragtime' author turned history into myth". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  24. ^"E.L. Doctorow, Author of Historical Fiction, Dies at 84". The New York Times. July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  25. ^Ragtime wins the National Book Critics Circle Award. History Channel. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  26. ^"National Book Awards – 1986". NBF. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  27. ^New York State Author and New York State Poet Awards
  28. ^Johnson, M. Alex (July 21, 2015). "E.L. Doctorow, Acclaimed Author of 'Ragtime' and 'Billy Bathgate,' Dies at 84". NBC News. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  29. ^"Doctorow's 'Bathgate' Wins Faulkner Award". The New York Times. April 7, 1990. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  30. ^The William Dean Howells MedalArchived March 14, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.. American Academy of Arts and Letters. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  31. ^"Winners of the National Humanities Medal and the Charles Frankel Prize". National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Retrieved September 5, 2008. 
  32. ^"National Humanities Medal: Nominations", NEH.gov. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  33. ^E.L. Doctorow. Tulsa Library Trust's Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  34. ^"Kenyon Review for Literary Achievement". KenyonReview.org. 
  35. ^"Beloved Historical Fiction Author E.L. Doctorow Dead At 84". The Huffington Post. July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  36. ^Thompson, Bob (February 21, 2006). "Doctorow's 'The March' Wins Top Honor". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  37. ^Website of St. Louis Literary Award
  38. ^Saint Louis University Library Associates. "Noted Novelist E. L. Doctorow to be Honored as 41st Annual Saint Louis Literary Award Recipient". Retrieved July 25, 2016. 
  39. ^2012 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. PEN American Center. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  40. ^James McBride wins US National Book Award, BBC News, November 21, 2013
  41. ^Gold MedalArchived October 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. American Academy of Arts and Letters. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  42. ^Alison Flood. "E.L. Doctorow wins Library of Congress prize for American fiction", The Guardian, April 17, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  43. ^Robertson, Michael (1992). "Cultural Hegemony Goes to the Fair: The Case of E. L. Doctorow's World's Fair". University of Kansas. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  44. ^Scott, A. O. (March 5, 2000). "A Thinking Man's Miracle". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  45. ^Kaufman, Leslie (March 28, 2013). "A New Doctorow Novel". The New York Times. 
  46. ^Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher (November 6, 1984). "Lives of the Poets". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  47. ^Eder, Richard (November 24, 1978). "Stage: Doctorow's 'Drinks Before Dinner'". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  48. ^Conversations with E.L. Doctorow (1999) by E.L. Doctorow and Christopher D. Morris, chronology
  49. ^"'Jack London, Hemingway and the Constitution'", The New York Times, November 4, 1993
  50. ^Powers, Ron (September 24, 2006). "Text Messages". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Arana-Ward, Marie (Apr 17, 1994). "E. L. Doctorow". Washington Post. p. X6. 
  • Baba, Minako (Summer 1993). "The Young Gangster as Mythic American Hero: E.L.Doctorow's Billy Bathgate". Varieties of Ethnic Criticism. Oxford University Press: The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS). 18 (2): 33–46. doi:10.2307/467932. 
  • Bloom, Harold, ed. (2001). E.L. Doctorow. Chelsea House. ISBN 9780791064511. 
  • E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime. Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations. Chelsea House. 2001. ISBN 9780791063439. 
  • Fowler, Douglas (1992). Understanding E.L. Doctorow. University of South Carolina. 
  • Girgus, Sam B. (1984). The New Covenant: Jewish Writers and the American Idea. University of North Carolina Press. 
  • Harter, Carol C.; Thompson, James R. (1996). E.L.Doctorow. Gale Group. 
  • Henry, Matthew A. Problematized Narratives: History as Friction in E.L. Doctorow’s Billy Bathgate. Critique Magazine. 
  • Jameson, Frederic. (1991). Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Duke University Press. 
  • Leonard, John (Jun 10, 2004). The Prophet. The New York Review of Books. 
  • Levine, Paul (1985). E.L. Doctorow. New York: Methuen. 
  • Matterson, Stephen. "Why Not Say What Happened: E.L. Doctorow's Lives of the Poets". Critique. 
  • McGowan, Todd (2001). "In This Way He Lost Everything: The Price of Satisfaction in E.L. Doctorow's 'World's Fair'". Critique. 42. 
  • Miller, Ann V. "Through a Glass Clearly: Vision as Structure in E.L. Doctorow's Willi". Studies in Short Fiction. 
  • Morgenstern, Naomi (2003). "The Primal Scene in the Public Domain: E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel". Studies in the Novel. 35. 
  • Morris, Christopher D. (1999). Conversations with E.L. Doctorow. University of Mississippi Press. 
  • Morris, Christopher D. (1991). Models of Misrepresentation: On the Fiction of E.L. Doctorow. University of Mississippi Press. 
  • Porsche, Michael. (1991). Der Meta-Western: Studien zu E.L. Doctorow, Thomas Berger und Larry McMurtry (Arbeiten zur Amerikanistik). Verlag Die Blaue Eule. 
  • Pospisil, Tomas (1998). The Progressive Era in American Historical Fiction: John Dos Passos’ 'The 42nd Parallel and E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime. Brno: Masarykova univerzita. 
  • Ramsey, Joseph G. (July 28, 2015). "The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left". CounterPunch. 
  • Rasmussen, Eric Dean (2011). "E. L. Doctorow's Vicious Eroticism: Dangerous Affect in The Book of Daniel". symplokē. 18 (1–2): 190–219. 
  • Shaw, Patrick W. (2000). The Modern American Novel of Violence. Whiston Press. 
  • Siegel, Ben (2000). Critical Essays on E.L. Doctorow. G.K. Hall & Company. 
  • Tokarczyk, Michelle M. (1988). E.L. Doctorow: An Annotated Bibliography. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities. 
  • Tokarczyk, Michelle M. (2000). E.L. Doctorow’s Skeptical Commitment. Peter Lang. 
  • Trenner, Richard. (1983). E.L. Doctorow: Essays and Conversations. Ontario Review Press. 
  • Williams, John. (1996). Fiction as False Document: The Reception of E.L. Doctorow In the Post Modern Age. Camden House. 

External links[edit]

Book reviews[edit]

  • Rafferty, Terrence (Jan 12, 2014). "Andrew's Brain". NY Times. 
  • Been, Eric Allen (Jan 17, 2014). "Andrew's Brain". Chicago Tribune. 
  • Cooper, David. "Andrew's Brain". NY Journal of Books. Retrieved Jul 21, 2015. 
  • McAlpin, Heller (Jan 17, 2014), "You might need to be a scientist to understand Andrew's Brain", Books, NPR 
  • KCRW Bookworm Interviews, audio, with Michael Silverblatt:
    Oct 1994, Jul 1997, May 2000, Jul 2004, Aug 2009

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