I think “All the King’s Men” is kind of like my Catcher in the Rye—

—Holden Caufield’s aggressive, angry scorn for “phonies” never really spoke to me on any profound level, but Jack Burden, in all his apathetic, morally ambiguous, and reserved  glory, is my kind of literary anti-hero.

“One feels incredulity at the first breaking of a habit, but horror at the violation of a principle. Therefore what virtue and honor I had known in the past had been an accident of habit and not the fruit of will. Or can virtue be the fruit of human will? The thought is pride.”


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