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All the king's men : the search for a usable past

Author: Harold Woodell
Publisher: New York : Twaynes ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1993.
Series: Twayne's masterwork studies, no. 112.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A true hallmark of American fiction, All the King's Men tells the timeless story of the rise and fall of a southern politician, Willie Stark, and the effects of these events on the life of Jack Burden, the young man who narrates the story. Published to widespread acclaim in 1946, the novel won the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize for its author, the distinguished poet and novelist Robert Penn Warren, and was  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Woodell, Harold, 1941-
All the king's men.
New York : Twaynes ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1993
(OCoLC)747305486
Named Person: Robert Penn Warren; Robert Penn Warren; Robert Penn Warren; Robert Penn Warren
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Harold Woodell
ISBN: 0805794115 9780805794113 0805785809 9780805785807
OCLC Number: 27172186
Description: xiii, 127 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Contents: Chronology: Robert Penn Warren's Life and Works --
Literary and Historical Context. 1. The Background of the Novel. 2. The Importance of the Work. 3. Critical Reception --
A Reading. 4. The Narrative. 5. The Road Trip. 6. The Early Campaigns and the Great Sleep. 7. Little Jackie and the Two Impeachment Efforts. 8. Jack the Graduate Student and the Cass Mastern Story. 9. The Case of the Upright Judge. 10. Dr. Stanton and the Willie Stark Hospital. 11. Jack's Trip to the West. 12. Jack Burden's Father. 13. The Assassination of Willie Stark. 14. Resolution and a New Beginning --
Afterword: Jack Burden --
From Cynicism to Acceptance.
Series Title: Twayne's masterwork studies, no. 112.
Responsibility: Harold Woodell.

Abstract:

A true hallmark of American fiction, All the King's Men tells the timeless story of the rise and fall of a southern politician, Willie Stark, and the effects of these events on the life of Jack Burden, the young man who narrates the story. Published to widespread acclaim in 1946, the novel won the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize for its author, the distinguished poet and novelist Robert Penn Warren, and was subsequently made into an Academy Award-winning feature film, as well as a stage play. And while Warren obviously based Willie Stark on Huey Long, the infamous "Kingfish" governor of Louisiana, All the King's Men is far more than a roman a clef; in it Warren addresses the universal themes of good and evil, of freedom and responsibility, and provides a rich perspective on southern cultural history and American politics. This first book-length study of All the King's Men argues that, rather than being primarily about an American political demagogue, the novel is fundamentally about a culture at war with itself - the conservative Old South struggling against the progressive New South - and that Burden, not Stark, is the central figure. Employing a chapter-by-chapter approach, Harold Woodell, the study's author, elucidates Stark's transformation from "Cousin Willie" to "The Boss," representing the values of the New South, and traces Burden's personal growth as inheritor of Old South traditions and reconciler of the Old and the New. Readers are given a thorough grounding in the myriad social changes affecting southern culture and politics during the early part of the twentieth century, along with a helpful chronological listing of the narrative's events and an incisive afterword contrasting Stark with Burden. A clearly written, eminently useful guide to understanding a complex masterpiece by one of our finest writers, All the King's Men: The Search for a Usable Past will enlighten and stimulate both students new to the novel and readers well acquainted with it.

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