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This novel is the first book of Dreiser's "Trilogy of Desire" - The Financier, The Titan, and The Stoic - which traces the ambitions of financier Frank Algernon Cowperwood. The first book covers Cowperwood's early years, during which he amasses a fortune through stock speculation and investment in railroads. A financial panic results in great losses and Cowperwood engages in illegal activity to cover his debts. He is caught, tried, and convicted for larceny. Though pardoned after a year, he loses his social standing and leaves Philadelphia to build another fortune.
Subject: English & College Success -> English -> Fiction