Synopses & Reviews
“[Alger] was an utterly American artist . . . and the truth of his books is the truth of the power of the wish. . . . Alger was perhaps American capitalisms greatest and most effective propagandist.”
Introduction by David K. Shipler
Written to inspire schoolboys to strive for “honesty, industry, frugality, and a worthy ambition,” the novels of Horatio Alger (1832—99) are infused with great humanity, broad humor, and a surprisingly sophisticated view of Gilded Age propriety.
Central to Algers philosophy is the notion that heroes like Ragged Dick, a poor boot-black, manage to get ahead by dint of hard work, resourcefulness, luck, pluck, and fair play.
Algers upwardly mobile heroes have become paragons of middle-class comfort and moral standing, and their journeys from rags to respectability have long been viewed as the very embodiment of the American Dream.
In this Modern Library Paperback Classic, the text of Ragged Dick is set from the first American book edition of 1868. Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide.
It was a small apartment with a few plain tables unprovided with cloths, for the class of customers who patronized it were not very particular. Our hero's breakfast was soon before him. Neither the coffee nor the steak were as good as can be bought at Delmonico's; but then it is very doubtful whether, in the present state of his wardrobe, Dick would have been received at that aristocratic restaurant.