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E.L. Doctorow: Ragtime (1975)

The author reads from Ragtime at the time of it's publication in 1975, how he took a musical term and spun a world from it, and argues the case for literary and historic influences in his work and beyond.

Recorded at the time of this extraordinary novel's initial publication, E.L. Doctorow (January 6, 1931 – July 21, 2015) reads from Ragtime and speaks with hosts Charles Ruas and Judith Sherman. This recording was originally broadcast on WBAI-FM New York in 1975, when Ruas was the station's director of arts programming and Sherman music director of the station.

One of the great storytellers of American literature. With Ragtime, The Book of Daniel, The March, Billy Bathgate, and other novels, Doctorow wove history with worlds of his own concoction with masterly, compelling, and convincing semi-truth. Doctorow died July 21, 2015.


Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas


An unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas, and featuring Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others.