Magazine article The American (Washington, DC)

The Ten Best Business Novels

Magazine article The American (Washington, DC)

The Ten Best Business Novels

Article excerpt

We presented our list of the Ten Best Business Movies in the November/December issue of THE AMERICAN. Now, here's our list of the Ten Best Business Novels. We focused on literary merit, requiring only that each book have some connection to the world of commerce.

Theodore Dreiser, The Financier (1912)

Honore de Balzac, A Harlot High and Low (1847)

William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885)

Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon (1999)

Philip Roth, American Pastoral (1997)

Louis Auchincloss, The Embezzler (1966)

Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (1943)

Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955)

Tom Wolfe, A Man in Full (1998)

Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now (1875)

The story of Philadelphia tycoon Frank Cowperwood, whose love interests seem destined to mangle his finances.

We could have picked any of dozens of Balzac novels. This one tracks a struggling socialite who tries to marry his way to financial success with the help of an escaped convict.

The title character makes a killing in the paint business, then tries to join the ranks of Boston's Brahmins. In the end, he maintains his integrity--but loses his business. Perhaps the greatest American business novel.

Cryptography is the common thread that links World War II code-breakers to 1330s Internet entrepreneurs, struggling to find funding, in this time-shifting epic.

The story of a Jewish glove manufacturer in Newark who builds a stable bourgeois life for himself but is shaken by the social upheaval of the 1370s, in which his own daughter is drawn to political violence. …

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