twelve men by Theodore Dreiser
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Theodore Dreiser was highly accomplished in journalism, autobiography, and travel writing. In 1919 he proposed to publish a "book of characters" that would collect twelve biographical sketches of individuals who were major influences on Dreiser, both as a man and as a writer. The resulting narratives combine the best attributes of the character sketch, the autobiography, and the short story into miniature masterpieces of prose. The men profiled in Twelve Men are a diverse and colorful group: from Dreiser's equally famous brother, the songwriter Paul Dresser, to the entirely obscure railroad foreman Michael. The twelve narratives are compelling portraits of the men portrayed and reveal insights into Dreiser's own life and work. Theodore Dreiser was an American novelist and journalist who the naturalist school and is known for portraying characters whose value lies not in their moral code, but in their persistence against all obstacles, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of choice and agency.