An unflinching examination of the corrupted American dream, "The Financier" tells a story revolving around a fiercely dishonest and motivated businessman, Frank Cowperwood. This protagonist relentlessly maneuvers for wealth without scruples or compassion, first marrying an affluent widow, then embezzling funds. When stock markets crash, his lies are exposed, and he is used as a scapegoat for the corruption of others. Both a betrayer and the betrayed, the brutal reality of his later success after rising and falling into jail is the embodiment of greed in the American success story. Dreiser relates this 1912 tale, the first volume of his 'Trilogy of Desire', with a masterful use of naturalism that provides an unapologetic social critique through the character of Frank, an overwhelming and even haunting American businessman.