He forged his reputation around a series of novels — most set in and around New York City — that carried readers from the 1800s to modern times. Mixing fictional characters with historical figures, he looked back to the Civil War ("The March"), the post-Civil War era ("The Waterworks"), the turn of the 20th century (the million-selling "Ragtime"), the 1930s ("Billy Bathgate," ''Loon Lake," ''World's Fair") and the Cold War ("The Book of Daniel").


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