Ragged Dick

Ragged Dick

Ragged Dick; or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks (1868) was Alger's most popular novel, following the popular serialized version published in Student and Schoolmate in 1867. His most popular "rags-to-riches" story, what became an iconic symbol of "the American Dream," is a lesson to encourage young man to apply themselves to valiant work, because it might just be rewarded by a wealthy patron, making it all worthwhile. The phrase "Horatio Alger myth" comes from this idea that sometimes hard work isn't rewarded, even though it's well-deserving. The theme would be Alger's mantra throughout his writing career, flagging in popularity due to its redundancy. Same story, different settings. The term "boot black" means shoe shiner, a popular job for scrappy young men needing work in New York City at the time Alger resided there. [Book cover pictured is the 1895 edition.]

Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick serial

Table of Contents


Chapter I - Ragged Dick is Introduced to the Reader

Chapter II - Johnny Nolan

Chapter III - Dick Makes a Proposition

Chapter IV - Dick's New Suit

Chapter V - Chatham Street and Broadway

Chapter VI - Up Broadway to Madison Square

Chapter VII - The Pocket-Book

Chapter VIII - Dick's Early History

Chapter IX - A Scene in A Third Avenue Car

Chapter X - Introduces a Victim of Misplaced Confidence

Chapter XI - Dick As a Detective

Chapter XII - Dick Hires a Room on Mott Street

Chapter XIII - Micky Maguire

Chapter XIV - A Battle and a Victory

Chapter XV - Dick Secures a Tutor

Chapter XVI - The First Lesson

Chapter XVII - Dick's First Appearance in Society

Chapter XVIII - Micky Maguire's Second Defeat

Chapter XIX - Fosdick Changes his Business

Chapter XX - Nine Months Later

Chapter XXI - Dick Loses His Bank Book

Chapter XXII - Tracking the Thief

Chapter XXIII - Travis is Arrested

Chapter XXIV - Dick Receives a Letter

Chapter XXV - Dick Writes His First Letter

Chapter XXVI - An Exciting Adventure

Chapter XXVII - Conclusion

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