His relationship with Ellis Burden, who he presumes is his father until the death of Judge Irwin, has been similarly difficult.
The ambiguity of the narrator, Jack Burden, means that this novel is, for the most part, reluctant in its outright condemnation of a corrupt leader.
As a Ph D student and whilst working for Willie, it is possible to see that this Jack was unable to fully appreciate the concepts of moral responsibility and preferred facts instead.
An unorthodox champion of the little man, Long in his 1924 race for governor was unsuccessful when he tried to remain moderate on the Ku Klux Klan issue.
His 1928 try for the office was a triumph, however, and at thirty-five, the outspoken country boy was a governor who almost single-handedly ruled the state.