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All the Kings Men (Play Version) [Hardcover]

Robert Penn Warren
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 1960 Play Version
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this classic book is generally regarded as the finest novel ever written on american politics. It describes the career of Willie Stark, a back-country lawyer whose idealism is overcome by his lust for power. New Foreword by Joseph Blotner for this fiftieth anniversary edition.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc (T); 2nd edition (Jun 1960)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394405021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394405025
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 14 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,808,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description



"Over the course of more than two centuries of vivid political history, there is perhaps only one full-blooded American novel of politics that plunges deep into the hearts of its characters and therefore into the hearts of its readers, thus rising to the top ranks of American fiction. That is Robert Penn Warren's lush "All the King's Men"."--"Los Angeles Times Book Review"

"It's a measure of the enduring worth of "All the King's Men" that Willie Stark has entered our collective literary consciousness, in the company of Captain Ahab, Huck Finn, Jay Gatsby, Holden Caulfield, Rabbit Angstrom, and very few others."--Joyce Carol Oates, "The New York Review of Books"
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

In de jaren dertig wordt de slimme boerenzoon en plattelandsadvocaat Willie Stark gekozen tot gouverneur van Louisiana. Met mooie beloftes heeft hij de 'gewone man' achter zich weten te scharen. Een groep van invloedrijke zakenlieden heeft hem gesteund omdat zij hem meenden te kunnen gebruiken.Maar Stark gaat zijn eigen gang. Met zijn bodyguard Sugar Boy, de journalist Jack Burden (die het verhaal vertelt) en zijn onwrikbare secretaresse Sadie Burke - mensen die hij vertrouwt en schaamteloos gebruikt - bindt hij de strijd aan tegen de gevestigde upper class.

Zij willen het liefst hun privileges behouden.Maar de charismatische politicus komt zijn beloftes aan het volk na. Een nieuw ziekenhuis voor iedereen, minder belasting, betere opleidingen, meer werkgelegenheid.

Om zijn doel te kunnen bereiken, speelt hij alle spelletjes van corruptie en verraad mee en wordt ten slotte senator. Met hulp van de invloedrijke rechter Irwin proberen zijn vijanden de 'parvenu' pootje te lichten en hem af te zetten. Daarom geeft Stark de journalist Jack de opdracht in het verleden van Irwin te zoeken of er iets tegen de rechter te gebruiken valt.Maar deze opdracht loopt voor Jack uit op een tragedie. Hij ziet zijn twee beste vrienden en zijn liefde ten onder gaan.

All the King's Men is gebaseerd op het verhaal van de 'southern-state' politicus en demagoog Huey 'Kingfish' Long, die in 1935 vermoord werd. Het boek geldt als een van de indrukwekkendste variaties op het grote thema van de verleiding van het menselijke kwaad. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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You follow Highway 58, going north-east out of the city, and it is a good highway and new. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Wonderful Book! 25 Aug 2004
It is extremely hard to sit down and write a review for any piece of classic literature for there is very little a reviewer can say that is new. Of course, for a book to be considered a classic most of its reviewers have to have had a favorable opinion of the work and all a new reviewer can do is concur or disagree. In this case, I couldn't possibly agree more with previous reviewers who have written rave reviews of this book.
This is not so much the story of Willie Stark, who was Willie Talos in the original manuscript, as it the story of Jack Burden, the man telling the story. It really seems to be the story of a young man and his road to maturity. That young man is Jack Burden and Stark seems to be just a convenient focal point around which Warren weaves his story. The plot is very well laid out and flows very well from beginning to end, which is quite an accomplishment when one considers all of the subplots to be found in this book. As Burden tells his story he often wanders down memory lane, recalling events which his story has recalled. Each subplot builds to it's own climax while also building toward the climax of the main story and the reader is swept along like a barrel on the Niagara River. Just as the reader feels as if he can put the book aside for a while, another subplot begins to ascend through the story and the reader is again swept along unable to pause. I got so caught up in one of the subplots that I was late for a very important appointment. I just couldn't stop until I found out what happened.
Stark is obviously supposed to resemble Louisiana Governor Huey Long and he very much does so. If one also reads T. Harry Williams biography of Long they will see just how strong the resemblance is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Solid Novel 15 July 2011
This is the story of Governor Willie Stark, a character based on the real life controversial governor for Louisiana, Huey Long. The story is narrated by Jack Burden, a reporter who gets taken on as staff by Stark at the start of his ascent in state politics. The story of Stark's life is interwoven with that of the narrator.

It's set in the deep south of the 1930's and Warren does a great job in describing the heat of not just the weather but the complex relationships and machinations of politics in this area. Stark starts off as a well meaning idealist, and as the story develops he turns into just another greedy hog with his snout in the trough of political power and influence. It was written in 1946 and won the Pulitzer prize. On the back of my Penguin Classic edition it's described by the New York Times as `The definitive novel about American politics.' I like Gore Vidals political yarns, but RPW really excels himself here. An excellent novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren 5 Jan 2014
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
On finishing this book I'm presented with a puzzle. This: why is this book, this author, not as vastly regarded among American letters as, on the showing of this book, he is due?

This is not, as it says all over it, a novel of politics. It has politics in it, sure. Rather it is a just a novel. Simply that. A big, bountiful, gorgeous piece of work. Surely a realistic candidate for the great American novel if ever there was one (and I can not think, off the top of my head, of another more deserving). This is a long, ramblingly poetic piece of work about two men, about relationships, power, influence, connections, careers versus personal lives, children, parenthood, corruption. I can't praise it highly enough. It is moving; the story contains a deeply tragic web and is one of those novels that illuminates how any little thing might turn out to be critically significant and you never even knew it. The writing is shaggily beautiful and deeply, hard-wonly wise; I am not remotely surprised this man won the Pulitzer for poetry in his lifetime as well as for prose.

A novel of regrets and life, a perfect example of one of those novels that you've heard of remotely in the background of literature, and turns out to be more powerful than you'd dared hope. This is worth five Gatsby's. It takes a little while to get into, to engage with but once you are in, this digressive book will enchant you. An American masterpiece, I am certain.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American Classic 15 Dec 2012
This book is considered one of America's greatest political novels and reading the blurb on the back cover I think that in some ways people are being misled. If you are looking for a novel that is deeply political and not much of anything else, then this isn't it. This is subtle and more a meditation on human emotions and ideals. Narrated by Jack Burden this is more of his story than that of anyone else, but as in real life, one person's story always includes others and how they can be affected by what is going on around them. The big character of this novel is Willie Stark, 'The Boss', who is based on Louisiana Governor Huey Long.

Stark is only an employee of the State as such when he runs into trouble over his job and his deep honesty. Dabbling in politics he drops out for a time only to come back with a much more solid support base. At this time Jack is a journalist but later comes to work for Stark as one of his top men. But as I think we all know, politics isn't easy sailing and you have to go to bed with the Devil, however you may originally not wish to. In this book we see how Stark changes from idealist to a cynic, operating the same kinds of graft that he originally opposed.

Whilst this is going on though as Jack narrates this we see what is happening in his life, his loves and the secrets that a family may have hidden away. As things reach their climax tragedy occurs as people find themselves on a course leading to disaster.

This is quite a slow read, at times you may even think what certain events have to do with the story in the whole. It flicks between time periods as Jack looks back into the past, which does work as it gives you a deeper understanding of the main characters.
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