Friday, January 14, 2011

Feature Fridays

Today's classic is All the King's Men (1946) by Robert Penn Warren.

Winner of the 1947 Pulitzer Prize, All the King's Men is one of the most famous and widely read works in American fiction. Its original publication by Harcourt catapulted author Robert Penn Warren to fame and made the novel a bestseller for many seasons. Set in the 1930s, it traces the rise and fall of demagogue Willie Talos, a fictional Southern politician who resembles the real-life Huey "Kingfish" Long of Louisiana. Talos begins his career as an idealistic man of the people, but he soon becomes corrupted by success, caught between dreams of service and a lust for power. All the King's Men is as relevant today as it was fifty years ago.

Generally considered the finest novel ever written on American politics, All the King's Men is a literary classic.

The title is taken from Humpty Dumpty:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

All the King's Men is rated the 36th greatest novel of the 20th century by Modern Library.

There are 2 film adaptations, 1949 and 2006. The 1949 version won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The 2006 version starred Sean Penn.

Have you read this classic?

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