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Where is Predator?

Business books became a popular genre nowadays.

What was your first business book? "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill? "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki?..

My first book about business was the novel "The Financier" by Theodore Dreiser. Although it is a fictional novel but it is based on the real-life story of Charles Tyson Yerkes (1837 - 1905), an American financier.

I've read this novel in Russian. The book was published in 1987. It has interesting description:

В романе «Финансист» выдающийся американский писатель конца ХIХ - начала ХХ века наглядно воспроизвел типичные черты американского капиталиста-хищника, показал подноготную частной жизни тех, кто скрывает свою «нравственность» за ширмой «всемогущего» доллара. (original)

An outstanding American writer of the end of XIX - early XX century vividly reproduced in the novel "The Financier" the typical traits of the American capitalist predator, revealed the whole truth of the private life of those who hide their "morality" behind the screen of "almighty" dollar. (my translation)

As you see the words "morality" and "almighty" are enclosed in quotation marks. These words are not used literally.

I disagree with the author of this description. The novel is not about the predator and the almighty dollar. This book talks mostly about the almighty personality.

The main character in the novel is Frank Cowperwood. His motto is "I satisfy myself." It sounds selfish, but this motto is about doing. It is about putting own priorities first. Cowperwood is active in setting plans. His energy is directed toward business goals.

Dreiser doesn't glorify a main character. "The Financier" is not a story about a self-made success. Cowperwood can lie, cheats and gives bribes. He was even imprisoned for dishonest actions with public funds.

The motto "I satisfy myself" may sound a little bit weird also, if you know what I mean, but it is not provocative. I see that Americans like the flowery style. For example, American psychologist Albert Ellis humorously coined the term "MUSTurbation" as a play on the words "must" and "masturbation" in order to describe all the "musts," "shoulds," "have-tos," "oughts" that people place on themselves.

Cowperwood has no musts, he is focused on own needs, plans and ambitions.

Frank Cowperwood is a man of many desires. But he is not just wishing that something will happen. Although he fails often, he does much for his desires. Not all people agree with his priorities. It doesn't matter. He takes new risks.

If you think that "The Financier" is not relevant to our times, you must read it. I found a lot of similarities between the United States in the late 1800s and Ukraine nowadays: corruption, official malfeasance, unlawful actions, judicial misconduct, bribes, bankruptcy...

"The Financier" is only the first novel in Dreiser's "Trilogy of Desire" about Frank Cowperwood. Other novels are "The Titan" and "The Stoic."

Read, learn, enjoy.