See also L. Neil Smith, J Neil Schulman. Doctorow writes / can't write like a Libertarian too. I don't actually know his political views but I suspect there is a cluster of personality traits at work here, I'm sure Ms Borsook would have something to say...
It is not actually that bad a book until the point where the plot just peters out, then we get a long appendix of graphs (wars follow poisson distribution, Zipf's law, MTBF of civilisations, hey if you look from far enough away the timelines of western and eastern civilisations look kind-of similar, yada yada, the famous 55, 14,9 and 7 year economic cycles overlaying each other [or whatever the numbers are, don't know don't care]).
In other book news, the geek anti-defamation league should be picketing Ian Rankin I suspect that not many geeks will spill confidential secrets to a coke-head lap-dancer being paid to be their girlfriend by a local gangland boss in order to get laid.
At least I haven't. Well, only once or twice.