The Atlantic

E.L. Doctorow’s Masterful Manipulation of History

The novelist beautifully captured bygone eras despite an often cavalier attitude toward accuracy.
Source: Mary Altaffer / AP

In the first chapter of his classic novel Ragtime, E.L. Doctorow memorably describes an afternoon shared by Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud in early 1900s New York:

Their ultimate destination was Coney Island, a long way out of the city. They arrived in the late afternoon and immediately embarked on a tour of the three great amusement parks, beginning with Steeplechase and going on to Dreamland and finally late at night to the towers and domes, outlined in electric bulbs,

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