As in much of his fiction, in Ragtime (1975) Doctorow turns his attention to a period in American history and develops themes regarding justice, individual identity, social responsibility, national realities and cultural myths in a narrative which is multidimensional, ironic and self-reflexive. He sets the action of this novel between 1902 and 1917 – the period known as the Progressive Era and the Era of Ragtime – and emphasizes the disorientation and turmoil that accompanied the large-scale transformation of the nation from its traditional character into one that is increasingly urban, industrial, commercial, and secular. He also implies connections between problematic issues regarding race, class, gender and …
Farrant Bevilacqua, Winifred. "Ragtime". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 July 2011; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2451, accessed 19 April 2015.]