The turn of the wheel has brought ragtime to the fore again, and here's a timely book which shows how Negro-originated ragtime jig-tuned a place for itself in American culture and laid groundwork for development of much modern popular music. Its cradle was the sporting belt saloons and bordellos of Sedalia, Missouri during the gay '90's. Later it shifted its capital to St. Louis' waterfront, and with Jelly Roll Morton to Chicago-then New Orleans (there are claimants for the crescent city as its birthplace)- Kansas City- and finally Tin Pan Alley where white composers tried their hand at offbeat syncopation stemming back to the native drummers in West Africa. Where books on jazz have incorporated some of this material, this is - I believe-the first book on ragtime exclusively, the music, the era, the greats, -Joplin, Stark, Lamb, Johnson, Turpin, etc. With illustrations, a chronology, code symbols of ragtime sheet music publishers and copyright owners, a fairly complete list of compositions grouped by composers, a selective list of phonograph records, both disc and the hard-to-find cylinders and player piano rolls. Well written, zestful- for a specialized market.