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All the King's Men

All the King's Men By Robert Penn Warren All the King s Men More than just a classic political novel Warren s tale of power and corruption in the Depression era South is a sustained meditation on the unforeseen consequences of every human act the vexing conn

  • Title: All the King's Men
  • Author: Robert Penn Warren
  • ISBN: 9780156004800
  • Page: 204
  • Format: Paperback
  • All the King's Men By Robert Penn Warren More than just a classic political novel, Warren s tale of power and corruption in the Depression era South is a sustained meditation on the unforeseen consequences of every human act, the vexing connectedness of all people and the possibility it s not much of one of goodness in a sinful world Willie Stark, Warren s lightly disguised version of Huey Long, the onetime LouiMore than just a classic political novel, Warren s tale of power and corruption in the Depression era South is a sustained meditation on the unforeseen consequences of every human act, the vexing connectedness of all people and the possibility it s not much of one of goodness in a sinful world Willie Stark, Warren s lightly disguised version of Huey Long, the onetime Louisiana strongman governor, begins as a genuine tribune of the people and ends as a murderous populist demagogue Jack Burden is his press agent, who carries out the boss s orders, first without objection, then in the face of his own increasingly troubled conscience And the politics For Warren, that s simply the arena most likely to prove that man is a fallen creature Which it does.
    All the King's Men By Robert Penn Warren

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    One thought on “All the King's Men

    1. Jeffrey Keeten on said:

      Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud Robert Penn WarrenRobert Penn Warren is the only person to win the Pulitzer prize for fiction as well as poetry He won the prize for fiction in 1946 for this very book If you are lucky enough to have a great aunt who reads, and bought a lot of books in the 1940s, you might take a gander at her books some time and see if she has a first edition, first printing of this book in her [...]

    2. Heather on said:

      Compelling, overstuffed, overplotted, sexist, labyrinthine, poetic, atmospheric To me this book s status as The Great American Political Novel seems like a terrific bitter joke, because the author s vision of politics is comprised entirely of blackmail, physical intimidation, pork barreling, rabble rousing, nepotism, bribery, rigged elections, and hilariously contrived family values photo shoots I love the scene where a photographer and two aides attempt to wrestle a comatose, foul smelling dog [...]

    3. Lawyer on said:

      All the King s Men Robert Penn Warren s Spider WebThis Novel was chosen as a group read by members of On the Southern Literary Trail for July 2012 and again in October,2014 It all began, as I have said, when the Boss, sitting in the black Cadillac which sped through the night, said to me to Me who was what Jack Burden, the student of history, had grown up to be There is always something And I said, Maybe not on the Judge And he said, Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth [...]

    4. Michael Finocchiaro on said:

      This was a wonderful book I listened to it on Audible, but it was so well written that I have ordered hard copy as well The story of Willie Stark and Jack Burden which are the same story as the narrator says is both poignant and realistic Seen through the cynical and poetic eyes of Burden, the Southern cronyism of Huey Long is parodied here and honestly reminds me of recent and current American political history The writing is absolutely spectacular Penn Warren is the only person ever to win Pul [...]

    5. Perry on said:

      King of PainStorytelling and copulation are the two chief forms of amusement in the South They re inexpensive and easy to procure Robert Penn WarrenRobert Penn Warren had been teaching at LSU for about a year prior to the 1935 assassination of U.S Sen Huey P Long La , nicknamed Kingfish, the populist and crooked 42 yr old senator and former Louisiana governor, on whom his novel is loosely based The title comes from Long s motto, Every Man a King, and a Humpty Dumpty verse.The story follows the p [...]

    6. Kemper on said:

      At first glance, Willie Stark seems like he would have been the perfect Tea Party candidate He uses fiery rhetoric to stir up crowds by claiming to be just like them and that he s going to bust the heads of those evil ole politicians at the state house to force them the straighten up and do things the right way But on the other hand, Willie actually knows something about government and uses his tactics to improve the lives of poor people by taxing the wealthy and using that money to do things li [...]

    7. Barbara on said:

      Meaning to do good, Willie Stark rises from self educated lawyer to political bigwig and eventually governor Along the way he loses his moral compass and develops a taste for power, resorting to bullying, bribery, blackmail whatever it takes to get what he wants.Willie does manage to help some of his constituents, taxing the wealthy to provide schools and hospitals for the poor But he also betrays his wife raises a selfish, self absorbed son corrupts good people and eventually reaps the conseque [...]

    8. Matt on said:

      All the King s Men is one of my favorite books, and I find it hard to write about my favorite books When you are swept away by something a book, a movie, a girl all objectivity tends to disappear Instead of pointed analysis, cold eyed criticism, and thoughtful chin stroking, there is gushing and platitudes and hyperbole In fact, instead of writing a review, I prefer to strip naked and run around the block screaming Robert Penn Warren s many virtues.Okay, I m back There are a lot of great books, [...]

    9. Camie on said:

      First off, I would nominate this book as one highly in need of a much improved cover design That being said, it perfectly fits the old adage about judging a book by it s mundane cover I love it when a book surprises me and the dread of reading it club choice turns into excitement The back page blurb praises it as a Pulitzer Prize winner following the political career of Willie Stark, a fictional character loosely based on that of Huey Kingfish Long a post Depression Era Louisiana governor Stark [...]

    10. Weinz on said:

      I finished this book on a plane I was on a plane coming home from somewhere that I didn t belong and as we coasted onto the tarmac I felt a little like Jack Burden He was never really comfortable in the shoes that he wore but was constantly striving to find the truth in things He was looking for the truth while consistently doing the right even when it was hardest Not to say that I am this all knowing altruistic seeker of truth in all things, quite the opposite, but coming from somewhere I didn [...]

    11. Lewis Weinstein on said:

      ATKM s dead on characterizations of political behavior are as relevant today as they were when it won a Pulitzer in 1947 Often described as the story of Willie Stark, a thinly disguised fictional stand in for fabled Louisiana Governor Huey Long, it is really much that of Jack Burden, Stark s aide and friend, from whose first person POV the story is told.Alternately attracted and repulsed by the tangy smells of commitment and corruption, Jack engages our sympathy and intellect as he personalizes [...]

    12. Gary on said:

      OkWhat did i think I wish I had read this book a loooooooooooongggggg time ago but maybe it was time to read it now I think every American , whether Democrat, Republican, Independent, or I don t give a shit party, should read it It s a very modern topical novel to read now about how corruption can ruin a person,because we have to be right about everything instead of trying to work together for the better welfare of everyone in this country.It s a book that makes you realize not one way of thinki [...]

    13. Andrew on said:

      All the King s Men is often promoted as a novel about politics, occasionally even the quintessential novel of American politics While I did enjoy the portrait of Willie Stark as an archetype political boss, interesting, to me, is the struggle of the narrator, Jack Burden, to overcome his nihilistic doubts in the face of a world governed by power Jack claims to overcome his nihilism the Great Twitch by coming to an understanding of the morality of his own life the personal and inter personal in [...]

    14. Mike Hart on said:

      Read this passage A woman only laughs that way a few times in her life A woman only laughs that way when something has touched her way down in the very quick of her being and the happiness just wells out as natural as breath and the first jonquils and mountain brooks When a woman laughs that way it always does something to you It does not matter what kind of a face she has got either You hear that laugh and feel that you have grasped a clean and beautiful truth You feel that way because that lau [...]

    15. Lyn on said:

      Robert Penn Warren s, All the Kings Men won the 1947 Pulitzer prize, and could also have won that prize in the next three years Is this 400 pages of poetic prose or a great epic prosaic poem This work would make a great primer for college English lit majors, I think Warren used every literary device and may have made up some And like so many master performances of art or sport, he makes it look effortless, he makes it look easy This was like watching Joe DiMaggio glide across the outfield or Te [...]

    16. Larry Bassett on said:

      I like politics Or maybe it would be accurate to say that I have been involved with politics for a long time at a lot of different levels Mostly my heart is with third party politics This book has a special interest to me although I have never read it The title is very familiar to me but I can t say exactly why that is.I have come to believe that anyone who is successful in politics and has been elected is probably someone who is intellectually dishonest After all, can you imagine someone being [...]

    17. Brinda on said:

      This book was unlike anything I have ever read before and I doubt I will read many of its caliber ever again It is an epic, biblical, human yet quintessentially American saga, disguised in the bizarre circumstances surrounding a particular brand of local Southern politics In Willie Stark, Penn Warren has created the ultimate American antihero describing to the tee the populist circus the campaign trail becomes, with Willie playing off the parasitic needs of potential voters and staffers and love [...]

    18. Jonfaith on said:

      Jack Burden is one of my favorite characters He hovers as a reflection of what could ve been, yet his finality terrifies me The scenes detailing Burden smoking in the dark and the winds arriving from the Canadian north are amazing Warren eyes both Faulkner and Gibbon His study of power echoes the Bard, though his poetic flourishes are native born He eyes his betters and replicates to placate Carson and Marsa Bill All The Kings Men is regarded as the best example of the political novel I m not co [...]

    19. Mister Jones on said:

      For my money, I think this is the greatest book in Southern Literature exceeding Faulkner All the King s Men is much than the usual purported centrality of Willie Stark s political motives and final demise, and the usual shallow analogies to Huey Long if anything, the novel s narrator, Jack Bundren, is a cynical person whose life has unraveled I think the one scene with Jack s father will always stay vivid as the epitome of Southern Grotesque It is a multi layer novel with clarity and a moral r [...]

    20. Gloria on said:

      Well written.but like I needed another reason to be cynical and depressed over politics right now.

    21. Kellie on said:

      I go through a lot of anxiety when I decide to quit a book in the middle of it I really did give this one a chance I really like the leader of my book club, who chose this book, however, I just couldn t take it any I never read such a bunch of babble before in my life If all the babble was pulled out of this book, it would probably be 100 pages As opposed to it s 437 This quote is an example If there weren t any other people there wouldn t be any you because what you do, which is what you are, o [...]

    22. Teresa on said:

      I first read this in Oct 06 and just re read it for a discussion that was held in conjunction with this year s Louisiana Book Festival It s amazing what one forgets in just 2 years, but what I didn t forget was Warren s lyrical way with words and structure, and the questioning, many times sardonic voice of his narrator, Jack Burden It was a pleasure to read it again.It took me so long to read this book in the first place because I thought it was going to be just a fictionalized account of Huey P [...]

    23. Amy on said:

      Look out world, I have a new favorite book All The King s Men by Robert Penn Warren may be long, but it is worth every word This book begins as the story of Willie Stark, a politician who enters politics as an idealist but ends up becoming the very thing he fought against Yet, this isn t so much Willie s story as the story of the narrator, Jack Burden, Willie s right hand man Jack strives to be a cold hearted cynic but he is driven by a moral idealism The writing style of this book is beautiful [...]

    24. Kathleen on said:

      Wow, this is a fantastic book The story and the characters are first rate, but it is the language that really got me Sentence after sentence of verbiage that is so evocative, so perfect, you just want to savor it, to make it last, running its sweetness over your tongue and your teeth and just keeping the taste of it around as long as possible.I knew for sure that this was going to be a rare and wonderful read when Jack Burden, the narrator, described his own nose as a hooked, askew, cartilaginou [...]

    25. Irene on said:

      It is clear why this political novel based on the career of Huey Long is a classic The colloquial voice of the narrator was perfect and utterly engaging The characters were brilliantly nuanced And the language, the similes and turn of phrase were fantastic.

    26. Alan on said:

      Red Warren was a friend of my doctoral advisor Leonard Unger, I think from the Vanderbilt connection before they were U Minnesota colleagues in the 50 s, along with Saul Bellow and Allen Tate Of course, Warren was known for the most famous poetry introduction ever written, Brooks and Warren, and Leonard s reading of poems built on it with an added soup on of Catskill wit After BW came Brower s fine Fields of Light, which lay behind my Amherst College lit intro The Amherst approach contrasted to [...]

    27. Joe on said:

      Politics is a matter of choices, and a man doesn t set up the choices himself And there is always a price to make a choice You know that You ve made a choice, and you know how much it cost you There is always a price This quote really is the thesis of this book Choices matter I think this is an extremely important American book that should be read by everybody It is as essential to the American experience as The Great Gatsby In fact, it reminded me of that book in many regards The narrator not r [...]

    28. Josh on said:

      Don t get too caught up in the belief that this book is, as the back of my copy suggests, The definitive novel about American politics Oh, it s definitive alright, and it s both American and politics , but those words limit rather than describe the places this novel takes you.First an admission on my part there were three motivations which led me to tackle this 600 page beast 1 It was selected as one of the monthly group reads within the group On the Southern Literary Trail come join us for fun [...]

    29. Terris on said:

      This is a political novel of the 1930 s American South, told by narrator Jack Burden, about the life, times, and doings of Governor Willie Stark for whom Burden worked There are several twists and turns that I did not expect I also expected it to be drier and harder to read I was pleasantly surprised to be so intrigued by the story that moved right along And even though it is political, much of it is to do with Burden s life, family, and philosophic discoveries about life This book was a 1947 Pu [...]

    30. Teri on said:

      For Banned Book Week I think 3.5 stars Look, I m not the brightest bulb okay, I know this, you know this I remember in high school my history teacher made us watch The Wizard of Oz and write about how it was a metaphor for populism or something, I didn t get it I still don t, all I thought was he was ruining a fantastic movie by reading too much into it My point It s entirely possible I have completely missed the point of the book I got out of it what I got out of it.The writing I did like the w [...]

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