Teacher Guide

All the King's Men Lesson Plan

Introduction to All the King's Men

All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren's most famous novel, depicts the political rise and fall of populist governor Willie Stark, as seen through the eyes of his cynical right-hand man, Jack Burden. As Jack explores Willie's journey from innocent country boy in county administration to demagogue and wheeler-dealer who claims he bribes, threatens, and manipulates for the greater good, Jack also considers his family's connection to an older version of the South and, through working for Willie, is forced to confront aspects of his romantic and family history he thought were behind him.

The novel is a roman à clef for the reign of real-life Louisiana Governor Huey Long, also a well-known...

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