9780156031042

All the King's Men 2006

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780156031042

  • ISBN10:

    0156031043

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-09-05
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Summary

Set in the 1930s, this Pulitzer Prizewinning novel traces the rise and fall of Willie Stark, 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. Generally considered the finest novel ever written on American politics, All the Kings Men is a literary classic.SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRINGSEAN PENNJUDE LAWKATE WINSLETJAMES GANDOLFINIMARK RUFFALOPATRICIA CLARKSONandANTHONY HOPKINS

Author Biography

Robert Penn Warren (1905–1989) won three Pulitzer Prizes, the National Book Award, the National Medal for Literature, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1986 he was named the country’s first poet laureate.

Excerpts

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. You look up the highway and it is straight for miles, coming at you, with the black line down the center coming at and at you, black and slick and tarry-shining against the white of the slab, and the heat dazzles up from the white slab so that only the black line is clear, coming at you with the whine of the tires, and if you don't quit staring at that line and don't take a few deep breaths and slap yourself hard on the back of the neck you'll hypnotize yourself and you'll come to just at the moment when the right front wheel hooks over into the black dirt shoulder off the slab, and you'll try to jerk her back on but you can't because the slab is high like a curb, and maybe you'll try to reach to turn off the ignition just as she starts the dive. But you won't make it, of course. Then a nigger chopping cotton a mile away, he'll look up and see the little column of black smoke standing up above the vitriolic, arsenical green of the cotton rows, and up against the violent, metallic, throbbing blue of the sky, and he'll say, "Lawd God, hit's a-nudder one done done hit!" And the next nigger down the next row, he'll say, "Lawd God," and the first nigger will giggle, and the hoe will lift again and the blade will flash in the sun like a heliograph. Then a few days later the boys from the Highway Department will mark the spot with a little metal square on a metal rod stuck in the black dirt off the shoulder, the metal square painted white and on it in black a skull and crossbones. Later on love vine will climb up it, out of the weeds.But if you wake up in time and don't hook your wheel off the slab, you'll go whipping on into the dazzle and now and then a car will come at you steady out of the dazzle and will pass you with a snatching sound as though God-Almighty had ripped a tin roof loose with his bare hands. Way off ahead of you, at the horizon where the cotton fields are blurred into the light, the slab will glitter and gleam like water, as though the road were flooded. You'll go whipping toward it, but it will always be ahead of you, that bright, flooded place, like a mirage. You'll go past the little white metal squares set on metal rods, with the skull and crossbones on them to mark the spot. For this is the country where the age of the internal combustion engine has come into its own. Where every boy is Barney Oldfield, and the girls wear organdy and batiste and eyelet embroidery and no panties on account of the climate and have smooth little faces to break your heart and when the wind of the car's speed lifts up their hair at the temples you see the sweet little beads of perspiration nestling there, and they sit low in the seat with their little spines crooked and their bent knees high toward the dashboard and not too close together for the cool, if you could call it that, from the hood ventil

Excerpted from All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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