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The star witness l Chuck's World


Last updated 5/23/2018 at Noon

If you’re a fan of the E. L. Doctorow novel “Ragtime” (or the subsequent film, or the musical), you’re familiar with Evelyn Nesbit.

You’d be familiar at any rate, I think. It’s an old story, set over a century ago but with elements that feel all too modern. A young woman’s beauty and style captivate a nation, while her personal life is manipulated and exploited by powerful men. It’s a #MeToo story from my great-grandmother’s era, and there’s nothing dusty about the details.

Nesbit’s show-business career imploded from scandal, fictionalized in “Ragtime,” and by th...

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