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Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men: A Reader's Companion

by Jonathan S. Cullick

Availablecloth$24.95s 978-0-8131-7592-8
Availableepub$24.95s 978-0-8131-7593-5
Availableweb pdf$24.95s 978-0-8131-7594-2
144 pages  Pubdate: 08/03/2018  5.5 x 8.5  

Jonathan S. Cullick is professor of English and former chair of the English Department at Northern Kentucky University. He is the author of several books including Religion in the Twenty-First Century: A Longman Topics Reader and Making History: The Biographical Narratives of Robert Penn Warren, as well as many articles on William Faulkner, Walker Percy, Robert Penn Warren, and other southern and American writers and topics.

Jonathan Cullick’s guide represents more than a reader’s companion to what is arguably America’s greatest political novel. Though published seventy years ago, All the King’s Men remains a timely contribution to the nation’s ongoing dialogue about the friction between democratic ideals and human failings. Cullick offers thoughtful readers a starting point for discussing the viewpoints that both unite and divide us. Bipartisan and balanced, the questions he raises are as fresh and relevant today as they were in the late 1930s during the rise of fascism and the excesses of untempered populism and demagoguery. The role of a free press also has particular significance. This book reinvigorates a much-needed national conversation about the future of democracy. -- Richard Taylor, author of Sue Mundy: A Novel of the Civil War and Three Kentucky Tragedies

While Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men stands tall among the great American novels, in our time in the early twenty-first century—in our current political moment, especially—it is the greatest of American novels, resonating with astounding parallels and discomforting insights. Few novels have traveled so well across time to speak to us with such ardor and urgency. In his masterful reading of the novel, Jonathan Cullick, a scholar both of literature and rhetoric, incorporates the perspectives of contemporary Kentucky statesmen and stateswomen, journalists, and higher education administrators to show the novel’s broad impact. Cullick offers further proof that this land we call Kentucky is a wellspring of writers whose work is as relevant at home as it is to America and the planet. -- Morris A. Grubbs, editor of Home and Beyond: An Anthology of Kentucky Short Stories and co-editor of Every Leaf a Mirror: A Jim Wayne Miller Reader

In a work of enlightening analysis, Cullick directs the reader in a rediscovery of the magnitude and importance of Warren’s All the King’s Men . . . an apt compendium for discussion of today’s "Willie Starks" and all of their demagoguery, polarization, and ethical morass. -- Bill Goodman, Executive Director, Kentucky Humanities