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|THE DEATH & RESURRECTION OF ELVIS PRESLEY
May 29, 2016 - University of Chicago Press / Elvis Express Radio
There is no other way to put it: Elvis is the King. Note the present tense: even though Elvis (supposedly) died nearly forty years ago, he has lived on in our hearts, as a sound, as
an image, and as an especially vigorous personality.
In fact, it’s safe to say no other celebrity has done so quite as well. The Death and Resurrection of Elvis Presley is the story of that afterlife, of Elvis after he left the building.
Walking the eccentrically carpeted rooms of Graceland, bidding into stratospheric sums on his auctioned relics, and mingling among the some 200,000 impersonators of his
likeness, Ted Harrison offers nothing less than the ultimate Elvis tribute.
Harrison begins, of course, in pilgrimage: to Graceland. He shows how Elvis’s estate was pillaged nearly to ruin by his manager but was saved through the deft business acumen
and financial vision of his divorced wife, one Priscilla Presley.
If Graceland seems holy, that’s because it is: Harrison unveils in Elvis’s allure a deeply spiritual dimension, showing how Elvis fans, over the decades, have anointed their idol with
Christ-like qualities. Through Elvis’s extravagance, Harrison raises fascinating links between money and faith, and through Elvis’s life, he shows how the King actually fulfilled a host
of roles ranging from hero to martyr to saint. Underpinning the whole story is Elvis’s extraordinary charisma and—lest we forget—his astonishing musical genius.
Fascinating, colorful, and deeply informative, this book is a must-have for any fan, anyone who was ever lucky enough to see Elvis alive or who hopes they might still be able to.
David Wall, University of Leeds
“Harrisons’s entertaining though authoritative book will not only reassure existing Elvis fans that his story and legend are still alive, and possibly tell them something new, but it will
also introduce the digital generation to the enduring analogue phenomenon of Elvis some forty years after his death!”