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by Theodore Dreiser
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1914. American author, outstanding representative of naturalism, whose novels depict real-life subjects in a harsh light. Dreiser's books were held to be amoral, and he battled throughout his career against censorship and popular taste. This is the second of a three book series, the first being The Financier, which continues the saga of Frank Cowperwood's quest for power and wealth through the use of financial acumen. The novel can also be viewed as a fictionalized history lesson of the tactics employed by the political and financial shakers and movers of that period. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
Frank Algernon Cowperwood, the central character of Theodore Dreiser's previous work "The Financier," is now out of the Eastern District Penitentiary of Philadelphia. He still has his mistress and his fortune, plans to divorce his wife, and leaves for Chicago to scout its possibilities for a future home. He has letters of introduction to the most influential people--a bank president named Mr. Addison, for a start. Cowperwood is presented to others--lawyers, businessmen, and judges. At this beginning not one of them knew he had been incarcerated, and he wondered if that knowledge would affect their attitude towards him. He finally confesses his recent history to Addison and decides to establish his new company in Chicago. He carefully and thoroughly scrutinizes the conditions for establishing a wealth that would be envied by powerful men and selfish women. "The magnetizing power of fame is great." As Cowperwood climbs the glorified mountain and sets out to ultimately conquer this new world, his past foibles overcome him again--his desire for beautiful women, his acquisition of unbelievable wealth, his need to be accepted and understood and revered. His genius for social and financial manipulations fails him in politics. The ending is a philosophical overview of what has happened and what can happen to a man with a restless heart. Please Note: This book has been reformatted to be easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. The Adobe eBook has bookmarks at chapter headings and is printable up to two full copies per year. Both versions are text searchable.
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