Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Movie Tie-in Edition
When All the King's Men was first published in 1946, Sinclair Lewis pronounced it "massive, impressive...one of our few national galleries of character." Diana Trilling, reviewing it for the Nation, wrote, "For sheer virtuosity, for the sustained drive of its prose, for the speed and the evenness of its pacing, for its precision of language...I doubt indeed whether it can be matched in American fiction." The Washington Post declared, "If the game of naming the Great American Novel is still being played anywhere, Warren's All the King's Men would easily make the final rounds."
Set in the 1930s, this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel traces the rise and fall of demagogue Willie Stark, a fictional character who resembles the real-life Huey "Kingfish" Long of Louisiana. Stark begins his political career as an idealistic man of the people but soon becomes corrupted by success and caught between dreams of service and an insatiable lust for power. As relevant today as it was more than fifty years ago, All the King's Men is one of the classics of American literature.
This landmark book is a loosely fictionalized account of Governor Huey Long of Louisiana, one of the nation's most astounding politicians. All the King's Men tells the story of Willie Stark, a southern-fried politician who builds support by appealing to the common man and playing dirty politics with the best of the back-room deal-makers. Though Stark quickly sheds his idealism, his right-hand man, Jack Burden -- who narrates the story -- retains it and proves to be a thorn in the new governor's side. Stark becomes a successful leader, but at a very high price, one that eventually costs him his life. The award-winning book is a play of politics, society and personal affairs, all wrapped in the cloak of history.
"A fully restored American political classic. . . . Now we can read it as it was written." -- Chicago Tribune
Winner of the 1947 Pulitzer Prize, All the King's Men is one of the most famous and widely read works in American literature, and as relevant today as it was fifty years ago. Now it has been fully restored and reintroduced by literary scholar Noel Polk, textual editor of the works of William Faulkner. Polk presents the novel as it was originally written, revealing even greater energy, excitement, complexity, and subtlety of character in this landmark of letters.
"[Polk] should be commended for this restored edition of Warren's great novel. . . . Deeply imagined, beautifully written, [ All the King's Men] is both a reckoning with the deepest forces of life and an edge-of-your seat page-turner."-- The Raleigh News and Observer
"To read [ All the King's Men] in this new edition is to be struck again by its raw power, its urgency and relevance."-- New Orleans Times-Picayune
"The publication of a new, corrected edition of All the King's Men is welcome news for all who care about American literature." -- Joseph Blotner, author of Robert Penn Warren: A Biography
Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989), America's first Poet Laureate, won three Pulitzer Prizes and virtually every other major award given to U.S. writers.
Noel Polk is a professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi. He lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
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From the Back Cover