The main concern of this thesis is an examination of the themes of morality, economics and power in the work of the American writer E. L. Doctorow. In Doctorow s own words Good fiction is interested in the moral fate of its people. This thesis will explore the ways in which Doctorow s work realises his own commitment to this statement. Central to each of the texts that I have chosen to study in this thesis, is a critical evaluation of the ideals which America is said to stand for, ideals such as liberty, justice, democracy and a chance for every individual to find a better life. I will argue that throughout his novels, Doctorow expresses the opinion that wealth corrupts those who come into contact with it. Even though such thematic concerns might be found in the majority of Doctorow s work, I have chosen to focus my analysis on the following three novels and one short story: Welcome to Hard Times, Ragtime, The Book of Daniel and A Child, Dead, in the Rose Garden. I have also supported my arguments with extracts taken from his latest book of non-fiction, Reporting the Universe. Here the author concerns himself with the status and fate of literature, whilst engaging with some of the most pressing anxieties and ideologies of today. These four titles seemed an appropriate selection also because they seem to highlight four central historical periods during which America has faced particularly pressing ethical and economic dilemmas.