All the King's Men

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this classic book is generally regarded as the finest novel ever written on American politics. It describes the career of Willie Stark, a back-country lawyer whose idealism is overcome by his lust for power. 
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About the author

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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Published on
Sep 1, 1996
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Pages
540
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ISBN
9780547536842
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Classics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy (1925) is nothing less than what the title holds it to be; it is the story of a weak-willed young man who is both villain and victim (the victim of a valueless, materialistic society) and someone who ultimately destroys himself. Dreiser modeled the story of Clyde Griffiths on a real-life murder that took place in 1906; a young social climber of considerable charm murdered his pregnant girlfriend to get her out of the way so that he could instead play to the affections of a rich girl who had begun to notice him.

But An American Tragedy is more than simply a powerful murder story. Dreiser pours his own dark yearnings into his character, Clyde Griffiths, as he details the young man’s course through his ambitions of wealth, power, and satisfaction.

The Indiana-born Dreiser (1871-1945) has never cut a dashing or romantic swath through American literature. He has no Pulitzer or Nobel Prize to signify his importance. Yet he remains for myriad reasons: his novels are often larger than life, rugged, and defy the norms of conventional morality and organized religion. They are unapologetic in their sexual candor--in fact, outrightly frank--and challenge even modern readers. The brooding force of Dreiser’s writing casts a dark shadow across American letters.

Here in An American Tragedy, Dreiser shows us the flip side of The American Dream in a gathering storm that echoes with all of the power and force of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Inspired by the writings of Balzac and the ideas of Spenser and Freud, Dreiser went on to become one of America’s best naturalist writers. An American Tragedy is testimony to the strength of Dreiser’s work: it retains all of its original intensity and force.

The second novel by Robert Penn Warren, author of the Pulizter-Prize-winning All The King's Men, is a tour de force and a neglected classic. At Heaven’s Gate, Robert Penn Warren’s second novel, is a neglected classic of twentieth-century fiction. First published in 1943, it grew out of the author’s years in Nashville during a period of political and financial scandals much like those later so memorably portrayed his Pulitzer-Prize-winning All The King’s Men. Other formative elements, as he has said, "came originally out of Dante by a winding path." During the winter of 1939-40 in Rome, where the first half of the book was written, one of the most touching characters, a "Christ-bit mountaineer," and his part of the story literally came full-blown to the author in a typhus-induced delirium. At Heaven’s Gate is a novel of violence, of human beings struggling against a fate beyond their power to alter, of corruption, and of honor. It is the story of Sue Murdock, the daughter of an unscrupulous speculator who has created a financial empire in the South, and the three men with whom she tries to escape the dominance of her father and her father’s world. The background is the capital of a Southern state in the late twenties and the promoters and politicians, the aristocrats and poor whites, the labor organizers and the dispossessed farmers, the backwoods prophets and university intellectuals who are drawn into its orbit. Warren’s picture of the South is as fresh, dramatic, and powerful today as it was when the book was first published. Its plot structure is a tour de force.
This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction; critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos; and much more.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.

Soon to be a Hulu limited series starring Christopher Abbott, George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie.

Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer.

Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.

This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.
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