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William Jennings Bryan

Willie Stark and the Long, Thinning Shadow of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men

I would argue that we are still under the mythos of populism, whether it be the relatively mild form promulgated by an aging William Jennings Bryan, who crossed verbal swords in the mid-1920s with Clarence Darrow over teaching Darwin in public schools, or the no-holds-barred demagoguery of the Huey Long who knew how to whip ragtag Louisiana crowds into a frenzy and how to put his stamp—many thought of it as fascist—onto American politics during the Great Depression.