Book of Daniel, The

Doctorow, E. L.

Published by Random House, 1971
ISBN 10: 0394462718 / ISBN 13: 9780394462714
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"Ragtime is Doctorow's best-known and breakthrough novel, but many critics consider "The Book of Daniel" to be his best. mostDoctorow's third novel, a moving and evocative view of leftist politics in the US in the days of the Cold War, as seen through the eyes of a man whose parents were tried for transferring atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union when he was a child. First printings are hard to find, especially in this condition. This copy is thoroughly Fine/Fine -- binding clean and tight, DJ whole save for a tiny scratch on the rear near the top. (price of $6.95 on unclipped flyleaf). Number line starts with "2," denoting a first printing in the system used by Random House at the time, but no longer. A stamped letter "H" isvisible on the ffep. Inscribed by Doctorow on full title page. "To --------- E. L. Doctorow.". Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: The central figure of this novel is a young man whose parents were executed for conspiring to steal atomic secrets for Russia.

His name is Daniel Isaacson, and as the story opens, his parents have been dead for many years. He has had a long time to adjust to their deaths. He has not adjusted.

Out of the shambles of his childhood, he has constructed a new life—marriage to an adoring girl who gives him a son of his own, and a career in scholarship. It is a life that enrages him.

In the silence of the library at Columbia University, where he is supposedly writing a Ph.D. dissertation, Daniel composes something quite different.

It is a confession of his most intimate relationships—with his wife, his foster parents, and his kid sister Susan, whose own radicalism so reproaches him.

It is a book of memories: riding a bus with his parents to the ill-fated Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill; watching the FBI take his father away; appearing with Susan at rallies protesting their parents’ innocence; visiting his mother and father in the Death House.

It is a book of investigation: transcribing Daniel’s interviews with people who knew his parents, or who knew about them; and logging his strange researches and discoveries in the library stacks.

It is a book of judgments of everyone involved in the case—lawyers, police, informers, friends, and the Isaacson family itself.

It is a book rich in characters, from elderly grand- mothers of immigrant culture, to covert radicals of the McCarthy era, to hippie marchers on the Pen-tagon. It is a book that spans the quarter-century of American life since World War II. It is a book about the nature of Left politics in this country—its sacrificial rites, its peculiar cruelties, its humility, its bitterness. It is a book about some of the beautiful and terrible feelings of childhood. It is about the nature of guilt and innocence, and about the relations of people to nations.

It is The Book of Daniel.

About the Author: E. L. DOCTOROW was born in 1931 in New York City and was educated at Kenyon College and Columbia University. His earlier novels are Welcome to Hard Times and Big as Life. Formerly editor-in-chief of a prominent New York publishing house, he was most recently writer-in-residence at the University of California at Irvine. He lives in Westchester County with his wife and three children.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Book of Daniel, The
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 1971
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: 1st Edition

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Doctorow, E.L.
Published by Random House (1971)
ISBN 10: 0394462718 ISBN 13: 9780394462714
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Book Description Random House, 1971. Book Condition: Good. 1st. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP11686120

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