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.

    The 341st Greatest Book of All Time
  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.

    The 909th Greatest Book of All Time
  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.

    The 2316th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. 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.

    The 5426th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Loon Lake

    The novel follows the journey of a young and impoverished man during the Great Depression as he stumbles upon the secluded, opulent estate of Loon Lake. Seeking escape from his destitute circumstances, he becomes entangled with the lives of the wealthy industrialist who owns the estate, his mysterious mistress, and other eccentric characters he meets along the way. Set against the backdrop of economic turmoil, the story explores themes of desire, power, and the American Dream, revealing the stark contrasts between different social classes during one of America's most challenging times.

    The 6915th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Lives Of The Poets

    "Lives of the Poets" is a collection of six short stories and a novella that delve into the lives of various characters, each struggling with personal crises, existential despair, and the search for meaning. The stories explore themes of artistic creation, human connection, and the complexities of life in contemporary society. Through a blend of realism and metaphor, the narrative weaves together the lives of poets, writers, and ordinary people, revealing the profound impacts of everyday events and the enduring power of storytelling in understanding one's own existence.

    The 9086th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. 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.

    The 9122nd Greatest Book of All Time