All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989); published 1946
Robert Penn Warren, America’s first Poet Laureate, won a Pulitzer Prize for this 600- page novel, considered by many as one of the greatest works by any American author. Set in the 1930’s, it traces the rise and fall of a dictatorial demagogue loosely based on Huey “Kingfish” Long, governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1931. Long was loved by his supporters and hated by his detractors and ultimately assassinated in 1935 after he announced his run for the Democratic nomination for presidency against FDR. Warren was a professor at LSU during Long’s rise in politics.