Here are the three best American novels ever written about politics and elections. Each is first and foremost a Work of Art, but they are also entertaining and brilliant, making for good Summer Reading. Here they are:
“All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren. Pulitizer Prize winner, and Academy Award for Best Picture when Hollywood did its version.
“The Ninth Wave” by Eugene Burdick. Written by a Californian about California politics of the 1940s and 1950s. A masterpiece at many levels, and a best-seller to boot, proving the public can get it.
“The Last Hurrah” by Edwin O’Connor. Another Pulitzer Prize winning author, recounting Boston
politics of the 1950s. Made into a fine film with Spencer Tracy as Mayor Frank Skeffington.
Eugene Burdick was a political science professor at UC Berkeley in the 1950s and early 1960s. The title of his breakthrough success, “The Ugly American” went into the language as a cautionary tale about America’s duty to live up to its ideals. Other smash hit novels include “Fail Safe” and “The 480“…. But the Ninth Wave is his greatest work, partly a history of our State from the 1930s-1950s, partly a psychological thriller, but always returning to a race for California governor and how it shapes the participants.
Robert Penn Warren was a lifelong Poet, named “Poet Laureate of the United States” by President Ronald Reagan during Warren’s stay-in-residence at my alma mater, the University of California at San Diego. Robert Penn Warren wrote one Novel, about Huey Long and Louisiana … and he made it count !.. “All the King’s Men” won the Pulitzer Prize for Best American Novel. The film version won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor (Broderick Crawford) and nominations for John Ireland and Mercedes McCambridge
(best supporting players).
Take a chance on these 3 great books this Summer. Many are available at no cost in local public libraries. You won’t be disappointed.