A master of gritty naturalism, Theodore Dreiser explores the corruption of the American dream in The Financier. Frank Cowperwood, a fiercely ambitious businessman, emerges as the very embodiment of greed as he relentlessly seeks satisfaction in wealth, women, and power. As Cowperwood deals and double-deals, betrays and is in turn betrayed, his rise and fall come to represent the American success story stripped down to brutal realities-a struggle for spoils without conscience or pity. Dreiser's 1912 classic remains an unsparing social critique as well as a devastating character study of one of the most unforgettable American businessmen in twentieth-century literature.
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser (1871-1945) was an American author of the naturalist school, known for dealing with the gritty reality of life. By 1892 Dreiser was working in the newspaper industry, where he became acutely aware of the peculiarly American 'disease' of fortune hunting. The astute observations made in his work influenced many of Dreiser's novels, such as The Financier (part of The Trilogy of Desire) and An American Tragedy. Dreiser also wrote several non-fiction books on political issues.