The Financier, Theodore Dreiser
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The Financier

A master of literary naturalism, Dreiser is known for his great intensity and keen journalistic eye as he examines real-life subjects. This powerful novel explores the dynamics of the financial world during the Civil War and after the stock-market panic caused by the Great Chicago Fire.

The first in a «trilogy of desire», The Financier tells the story of the ruthlessly dominating broker Frank Cowperwood as he climbs the ladder of success, his adoring mistress championing his every move. Based on the life of financier C. T. Yerkes, Dreiser's cutting portrayal of the corrupt magnate Cowperwood illustrates the idea that wealth is often obtained by less than reputable means.
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The Financier, Theodore Dreiser
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car had not arrived. In its place were hosts of
Henry Worthington Cowperwood was a man who believed only what he saw and was content to be what he was—a banker, or a prospective one. He was at this time a significant figure—tall, lean, inquisitorial, clerkly—with nice, smooth, closely-cropped side whiskers coming to almost the lower lobes of his ears. His upper lip was smooth and curiously long, and he had a long, straight nose and a chin that tended to be pointed. His eyebrows were bushy, emphasizing vague, grayish-green eyes, and his hair was short and smooth and nicely parted.
taken a fancy to him
a fluffy hoop-skirt of dainty laced-edged ruffles
He had been one of the first to become interested in the development of the street-car system and had come to the conclusion, as had Cowperwood and many others, that it was going to be a great thing.
indictment as here presented charged Mr. Frank A. Cowperwood, who was sitting at the table inside the jury-rail, first with larceny, second with embezzlement, third with larceny as bailee, and fourth with embezzlement of a certain sum of money--a specific sum, to wit, sixty thousand dollars--on a check given
The thing for him to do was to get rich and hold his own—to build up a seeming of virtue and dignity which would pass muster for the genuine thing. Force would do that. Quickness of wit. And he had these. "I satisfy myself," was his motto; and it might well have been emblazoned upon any coat of arms which he could have contrived to set forth his claim to intellectual and social nobility.
The flavor of his spirit was what attracted and compelled, like the glow of a flame to a moth.
ving much to do with it. If that happened, he would have the politicians to reckon with. For, if he were hard pressed, as he would be, and failed, the fact that he had been trying to invade the city

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