Jim's Reviews > Ragged Dick

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Jr.
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Apr 18, 2008

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Read in May, 2008

Alger's most famous 'rags-to-riches' story isn't quite as dramatic of an ascent as I expected. Still, it's interesting reading, as it certainly helped to construct the rigid and contradictory set of moral values still (ostensibly) dominant in the US today. The protagonist possesses self-reliance, self-sacrifice, industriousness, scrupulous honesty, charity, fiscal responsibility--and as a relief to the reader, street smarts and incisive wit. Parts of the book also serve as a detailed travelogue of Manhattan in the 1860s when central park was still being constructed and the tallest building in the city was the Trinity Church.
The critical edition also contains a genuinely useful selection of historical texts, photos, maps and criticism.
I'm also very glad i didn't know Alger was a pedophile before reading this.
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