In Philadelphia, Frank Cowperwood, whose father is a banker, makes his first money passing by an auction sale, he successfully bids for seven cases of Castile soap, which he sells to a grocer the same day with a profit of over 70 percent. Frank marries an affluent widow, in spite of his young age, and starts moving up the financial ladder, misusing municipal funds with the aid of the City Treasurer. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire redounds to a stock market crash, prompting him to be bankrupt and exposed. Although he attempts to browbeat his way out of being sentenced to jail by intimidating certain people, politicians from the Republican Party use their influence to use him as a scapegoat for their own corrupt practices.
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About the Author
Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) was an American novelist and journalist of the naturalist school. His novels often featured main characters who succeeded at their objectives despite a lack of a firm moral code, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of choice and agency. Dreiser's best known novels include Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy.