E.L. Doctorow took the art of historical novels a step beyond by reimagining historical figures as fictional characters. In his most famous work, the 1975 best-seller Ragtime, Doctorow, who passed away on July 21 in New York at age 84, set a cast that includes Harry Houdini, Sigmund Freud, Henry Ford and Booker T. Washington interact in scenes that never happened and yet reveal so much about the characters.
Paula Williams Madison is the epitome of success: Vassar College grad, award-winning journalist, former TV executive, entrepreneur, community activist. But the Harlem native was also driven toward another goal — finding more about the Chinese grandfather she never knew.
Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. I believe in this method because I think it is the only way to re-establish a broken community. —The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., University of Oslo, Dec. 10, 1964
Marco Polo, the next big thing from Netflix, will land at last on Friday after being buffeted for weeks in a media storm of questions, among them: Will the lavish limited series help Netflix in its quest to capture ground in the international marketplace? Will the $90 million production, filmed in Italy, Kazakhstan and Malaysia, top the streaming company's stellar successes with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black? Will the release designed for binge-watching (all 10 hours of the first season will become available at once) make a star of Italian newcomer Lorenzo Richelmy? And, will 13th century China be the next big thing?
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