Robert Penn Warren
IL: UG - BL: 6.8 - AR Pts: 36
Set in the 1930s, this novel traces the rise and fall of demagogue Willie Talos, a fictional Southern politician who resembles the real-life Huey "Kingfish" Long of Louisiana. Talos begins his career as an idealistic man of the people, but he soon becomes corrupted by success, caught between dreams of service and a lust for power.
Willie Stark is an uncorrupted small-town mayor in 1950s Louisiana. He gets picked by the political machine to run as a wild card candidate in the upcoming gubernatorial race. But, when Willie realizes that he is being manipulated, he veers off on his own to become the darling of the electorate's downtrodden and forgotten hicks. Covering the campaign for a local paper is Jack Burden, whose editorial pieces become so admiring of Willie that he's fired....
New American Library
In the summer of 1863, Adam Rosenzweig has left a Bavarian ghetto and sailed for America to join the Union Army. Fired by the revolutionary idealism of mid-nineteenth-century Europe, he hopes to aid a cause which he believes to be as simple as he knows it to be just. But thwarted by the discovery of a physical deformity which he had hoped to conceal, he must try other means to find his "truth."