Ragtime is a novel about three families and their interactions as parts of the American Melting Pot. A wealthy white family, a poor black man and his son, and an old Jewish paper-cutter and his beautiful daughter all live near to one another in turn-of-the-century New York. The novel progresses from 1900 to 1917 and charts the slow union of elements of the three households and the happiness they find together.

Summary of Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow

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Ragtime Chapter Summaries (Free)


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