All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
This is the story of Willie Stark, a Huey Long type of governor in a Louisiana type of state, and of his intellectual gunman Jack Burden, who tells the story. Willie starts out as an Honest Abe Lincoln used by the politicians to split the vote; he discovers the fact, turns into a spellbinder, and later takes over the state. He becomes a typical Boss, surrounded by sycophants, brooking no opposition, having or being able to get the goods on anyone who stands in his way, a hard drinker and wencher, a despiser of all men as corrupt and weak; and Jack Burden, rootless and uncertain actor-observer, follows along, never sure whether Willie is god or devil.
About the Author