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All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
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All the King's Men (1946)

by Robert Penn Warren

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,704841,004 (4.11)253
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English (81)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
Story based on rise and murder of Huey Long, but seen from the vantage of a "righteous" political hack ( )
  kewlgeek | Jun 30, 2015 |
Rated: A+
As a poet, Robert Penn Warren fictional novel is filled with rich descriptions. But it is his intertwining plot lines that always reveal the unexpected. I rate this book in the top 10 fictional works I've read.

"The creation of man whom God in His foreknowledge knew doomed to sin was the awful index of God's omnipotence. For it would have been a thing of trifling and contemptible ease for Perfection to create mere perfection. To do so would, to speck truth, be not creation but extension. Separateness is identity and the only way for God to create, truly create, man was to make him separate from God Himself, and to be separate from God is to be sinful. The creation of evil is therefore the index of God's glory and His power. That had to be so that the creation of good might be the index of man's glory and power. But by God's help. By His help and His wisdom." ( )
  jmcdbooks | Jun 27, 2015 |
Amazing book set in the 1930s following a politician's handyman. While the book is marketed as the definitive novel in American Politics, it deals very little of the side the public sees and more so on the more shady unknown side. It is a really well written book, that even when the subject gets taken off path and seems very unimportant, it is still a captivating read. The book really shows how the little things can make or break a politician while also showing how power can get to a person's head and start to change them. ( )
  renbedell | May 10, 2015 |
Wow. Somehow I got through a political science degree without ever reading this in a class. I'm a bit mad that it took me this long to read this outstanding book. There's politics, sex (well, the 1940s sanitized version), and even a bit of stereotypes merging together into a story of secrets and corruption. Well worth a re-reading (although the "Restored Edition" has The Boss as Willie Talos, not Willie Stark, the more famous name).

----------------
LT Haiku:

The rise and fall of
a demagogue, based somewhat
on a real statesman. ( )
  legallypuzzled | Mar 31, 2015 |
I'm so glad I read this novel. It is, fundamentally, a study of human nature and how we deal with moral or ethical dilemmas. It is about the (sometimes corrupting) effects of knowledge; about the constraints that come with power and the freedom that comes without it. And, it's a good story to enjoy while all these broader themes weave through your mind. ( )
  LynnB | Dec 2, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Warren, Robert Pennprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koskinen, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Mentre che la speranza ha fior del verde.

--La Divina Commedia, Purgatorio, III
Dedication
To Justine and David Mitchell Clay
First words
MASON CITY.

To get there you follow Highway 58, going northeast out of the city, and it is a good highway and new. Or was new, that day we went up it.
Quotations
It was like the second when you come home late at night and see the yellow envelope of the telegram sticking out from under your door and you lean and pick it up, but don't open it yet, not for a second. While you stand there in the hall, with the envelope in your hand, you feel like there's an eye on you, a great big eye looking straight at you from miles and dark and through walls and houses and through your coat and vest and hide and sees you huddled up way inside, in the dark which is you, inside yourself, like a clammy, sad little foetus you carry around inside yourself. The eye knows what's in the envelope, and it is watching you to see you when you open it and know it, too. But the clammy, sad little foetus which is you way down in the dark which is you too lifts up its sad little face and its eyes are blind, and it shivers cold inside you for it doesn't want to know what is in that envelope. It wants to lie in the dark and not know, and be warm in its not-knowing. The end of man is knowledge, but there is one thing he can't know. He can't know whether knowledge will save him or kill him. He will be killed, all right, but he can't know whether he is killed because of the knowledge which he has got or because of the knowledge he hasn't got and which if he had it, would save him. There's the cold in your stomach, but you open the envelope, you have to open the envelope, for the end of man is to know.
It was not so much any one example, any one event, which I recollected which was important, but the flow, the texture of the events, for meaning is never in the event but in the motion through event.  Otherwise we could isolate an instant in the event and say that this is the event itself.  The meaning.  But we cannot do that.  For it is the motion which is important.
So there are two you's, the one you yourself create by loving and the one the beloved creates by loving you.  The farther those two you's are apart the more the world grinds and grudges on its axis.  But if you loved and were loved perfectly then there wouldn't be any difference between the two you's or any distance between them.
The creation of man whom God in His foreknowledge knew doomed to sin was the awful index of God's omnipotence.  For it would have been a thing of trifling and contemptible ease for Perfection to create mere perfection.  To do so would, to speak truth, be not creation but extension.  Separateness is identity and the only way for God to create, truly create, man was to make him separate from God Himself,and to be separate from God is to be sinful.  The creation of evil is therefore the index of God's glory and His power.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
The rise and fall of

a demagogue, based somewhat

on a real statesman.

(legallypuzzled)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156004801, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:02 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Set in the '30s, 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. The model for 1996's best-selling novel, Primary Colors, and as relevant today as it was fifty years ago, All the King's Men is one of the classics of American literature.… (more)

» see all 13 descriptions

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