E. L. Doctorow

E. L. Doctorow was an acclaimed American author known for his works of historical fiction. His novels often blend real historical figures with fictional narratives, exploring the American experience and social commentary. Some of his notable works include 'Ragtime', 'Billy Bathgate', and 'The Book of Daniel'. Doctorow received numerous awards for his literary contributions, including the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Ragtime

    Set in the early 20th century, this novel intertwines the lives of fictional characters with real historical figures, creating a vivid portrayal of America's past. The narrative follows the lives of an upper-class family in New Rochelle, New York, an African-American musician from Harlem, and a Jewish immigrant and his daughter, while also featuring historical figures like Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan, and Henry Ford. The novel explores themes of wealth, race, and class, against a backdrop of significant historical events, such as the onset of World War I and the rise of the labor movement.

  2. 2. The Book of Daniel

    "The Book of Daniel" is a semi-fictional novel that explores the lives of the Isaacson family, specifically focusing on the children, Daniel and Susan, after their parents, accused of being Communists, are executed. The narrative is a combination of historical fiction and a political commentary, providing a deep exploration of the Red Scare in the United States during the Cold War era. The novel is a critical examination of social, political, and familial dynamics in a time of national fear and paranoia.

  3. 3. Billy Bathgate

    "Billy Bathgate" is a historical novel set in the 1930s that follows the life of a teenage boy from the Bronx who becomes involved with a notorious mobster and his gang. The protagonist, Billy, is taken under the wing of the gang leader, and the novel provides a detailed look into the world of organized crime during the Great Depression. The story is filled with violence, love, and the struggle for power, all seen through the eyes of a young boy trying to navigate his way through this dangerous world.

  4. 4. The March

    "The March" is a historical fiction novel that follows the destructive journey of General William Tecumseh Sherman's Union army through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina during the American Civil War. The narrative is told from multiple perspectives, including those of slaves, soldiers, civilians, and Sherman himself. The book explores the chaos, violence, and often arbitrary nature of war, as well as its profound effects on individuals and societies. It also delves into the complexities of the human condition and the struggle for survival amidst chaos.

  5. 5. World's Fair

    Set in 1930s New York, this novel follows the life of a young boy named Edgar as he navigates through the complexities of family life, school, and the exciting spectacle of the World's Fair. The narrative is a blend of Edgar's memories and his older brother's diary entries, painting a vivid picture of the Depression-era Bronx, the looming war, and the technological wonders of the fair. The boy's experiences and observations reveal the socio-cultural dynamics of the time and the transformative power of the fair, which symbolizes hope and progress amidst the bleakness of the era.