A Cool Million
ebook ∣ or, The Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin
By Nathanael West
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A Cool Million presents the dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin, piece by piece. As a satire of the Horatio Alger myth of success, the novel is evocative of Voltaire's Candide, which satirized the philosophical optimism of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Alexander Pope. Pitkin is a typical Schlemiel, stumbling from one situation to the next; he gets robbed, cheated, unjustly arrested, frequently beaten and exploited.