Novel by Dreiser, published in 1914 as a sequel to The Financier and based on the career of C. T. Yerkes, a flamboyant financier of Philadelphia, Chicago, and London.
Frank Cowperwood, having married his mistress Aileen Butler, establishes a home in Chicago. Their history becomes known, and they fail to make their desired entry into society, but Cowperwood's business affairs prosper. After successful speculations in the grain exchange and in stocks, he effects a great merger of the growing city's public utilities, and acquires a tremendous fortune, as well as political power and prestige, through his streetcar business, his gift of an observatory to a university, and his fine collection of paintings acquired during trips to Europe. Meanwhile he is dissatisfied with Aileen and pursues other women, arousing her bitter resentment. Once she physically attacks a current mistress, but even this cannot restore her control of him, and she becomes increasingly coarse and dissipated, taking several lovers herself. When he establishes a palatial residence in New York City, Cowperwood discovers his “ideal” in Berenice Fleming, the beautiful, sensitive, and innocent daughter of a former brothel keeper. Although he is twice her age, he succeeds in winning the girl's love, and she accompanies him to Europe after he is finally ousted by his Chicago competitors.