Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Robert Penn Warren's All The King's Men. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: All the King’s Men
- When Written: 1936-1946
- Where Written: Louisiana and New York
- When Published: 1946
- Literary Period: American post-war modernism
- Genre: Political novel; “Great American novel”; American modernism
- Setting: Louisiana in the 1920s and 1930s
- Climax: After attempting to blackmail Judge Irwin into supporting a political cause of Governor Stark’s, Jack Burden finds out, from his mother, that Irwin has killed himself overnight, and that Irwin is his biological father.
- Antagonist: Tiny Duffy
- Point of View: first-person (told from the perspective of Jack Burden)
An Oscar and a Box-Office Bomb. The novel has been adapted for the screen twice—once in 1949, with Broderick Crawford playing Willie Stark, and once in 2006, with Sean Penn in Willie’s role. The former won the Academy Award for Best Picture, although the latter was panned by critics and shunned by audiences at the box office.