All the Kings Men
Robert Penn Warren
Contributed by Machelle Schuler
Robert Penn Warren
Year Published
About the Title

All the King’s Men is narrated by Jack Burden, a young political muckraker for Willie Stark, governor of an unnamed Southern state in the 1930s. At its base, the novel is about Willie’s rise to prominence and metamorphosis from a humble country lawyer to a fiery demogogue who uses corrupt means in order to do good for the poor masses of his state. It is also the complex story of Willie’s downfall and the inextricable personal tale of Jack as the latter comes to realize his responsibility for the world around him.

The basic events of the novel are related with several flashback episodes, and all but the end of the last chapter is in the past tense, with the narrative being delivered from the perspective of Jack a few years after these events.

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