Books by SRA (Author of Core Decodable Takehomes, Book 2)
The Cost of Desire
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In a groundbreaking appreciation published in , H. Yet Dreiser is widely regarded as the strongest of the novelists who have written about America as a business civilization. No one else confronted so directly the sheer intractability of American social life and institutions, or dramatized with such solicitousness and compassion the difficulty of breaking free from social law. Dreiser had a genius for factuality: he re-created the inner workings of a factory, a stock exchange, a luxury hotel; he was definitive on such things as fraudulent business dealings and the bitterness of a futile job hunt. At the same time, few novelists have seemed so bizarrely divided about the personal rewards of business enterprise: he was contemptuous of money-obsession and luxury-worship yet seemingly in thrall to money and luxury. He was divided about many things—religion, sex, and free will, as well as money. But these two phrases, hapless as they are, represent something more than simple tone-deafness: Dreiser seems to be pulling in two directions at once.