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Elvis Presley: A Southern Life Audiobook

Elvis Presley: A Southern Life

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Publisher's Summary

In Elvis Presley: A Southern Life, one of the most admired Southern historians of our time takes on one of the greatest cultural icons of all time. The result is a masterpiece: a vivid, gripping biography, set against the rich backdrop of Southern society - indeed, American society - in the second half of the 20th century.

Author of The Crucible of Race and William Faulkner and Southern History, Joel Williamson is a renowned historian known for his inimitable and compelling narrative style. In this tour de force biography, he captures the drama of Presley's career set against the popular culture of the post-World War II South.

Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley was a contradiction, flamboyant in pegged black pants with pink stripes, yet soft-spoken, respectfully courting a decent girl from church. Then he wandered into Sun Records, and everything changed. "I was scared stiff," Elvis recalled about his first time performing on stage. "Everyone was hollering and I didn't know what they were hollering at." Girls did the hollering - at his snarl and swagger. Williamson calls it "the revolution of the Elvis girls." His fans lived in an intense moment, this generation raised by their mothers while their fathers were away at war, whose lives were transformed by an exodus from the countryside to Southern cities, a postwar culture of consumption, and a striving for upward mobility. They came of age in the era of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, which turned high schools into battlegrounds of race. Explosively, white girls went wild for a white man inspired by and singing black music while "wiggling" erotically. Elvis, Williamson argues, gave his female fans an opportunity to break free from straitlaced Southern society and express themselves sexually, if only for a few hours at a time.

©2015 Emerson W. Baker (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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    Meznuts 29/09/2015
    Meznuts 29/09/2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sadly a great read"

    As an Elvis fan I chose this book as I thought it would give another glimpse into my idols life. And boy did it! It was a fantastic read but at times I was taken aback by how the author talked about Elvis. What was said did not surprise me though. A thrilling book from beginning to end. A sad yet powerful look into this great entertainers life. Thoroughly enjoyed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • robert joe reynolds
    3/04/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you hate Elvis buy this book"

    All Elvis fans no he had a good side and a bad side like all of us..... According to this author Elvis was bad from the day he was born till the day he died including his parents and distant relative... Definitely one of the top one sided books ever written about all this... Elvis's fans don't expect everything to be sugar coated but they do expect these writings to be fair

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • gostephi
    usa
    14/04/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "disrespectful on every level"

    they found a narrator that conveyed and (over) emphasized the author's blatant and obvious dislike for elvis, his family and everything elvis represented. not one new bit of information. is it really ok to disrespect any human as this author did?
    elvis, undeniably, changed the course of music and history. not an opinion or a judgement. this is common knowledge. come on. he was the same as jimi, Janis, hank... destined for an early grave. only difference was Elvis had caretakers 24/7 - yep, he was a junkie, but Elvis' team would be there to make sure he didn't drown in his lemonade or suffocate in his bowl of oatmeal. I guess if alcohol were added to Elvis' regimen, he prob would've died a lot sooner.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • John
    31/08/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is a Good One !"

    You never know what you are going to get when you chose a book on Elvis Presley. The possibilities are endless. Here, the details about Elvis are accurate, and theories on the Presley family dynamics make the listening even more compelling. We get a deeper sense of the complexities that went into forming the character of Elvis Presley. An interesting listen, which I do recommend to you. Enjoy!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ken
    6/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Elvis sure screwed a lot"

    quite revealing. wondering where the information came from.did the pimp really screw Priscilla 4 times

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jeff42
    20/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Toxic Superstar"
    Would you listen to Elvis Presley: A Southern Life again? Why?

    Yes. The book gets to the overall truths about Elvis' life and career, choices, women, family/friends, decline and death. Occasionally the author may get a fact wrong but that doesn't negate what the book does; give a critical analysis of the phenomenon that was Elvis. Did you ever think it was strange, even perverted, that Elvis dated 14 year old girls-even when he was in his 20's? Did you ever think it was weird Pricilla came to live at Graceland after Elvis begged and pleaded with her parents to allow it, only to ignore Pricilla once she was here? Did you ever question why a man would spend $100,000 at a time on cars for complete strangers? This book digs down into the psyche of a deeply flawed and troubled rock star. It looks into the dark crevices and examines rather than ignore them. This is a book for all Elvis fans, especially the ones who love him unconditionally. It's time they really got to know their hero.


    What other book might you compare Elvis Presley: A Southern Life to and why?

    Careless Love by Peter Guralnick is the best Elvis bio. This book is an excellent companion book to it. Guralnick deals with facts, well researched. This book deals with truth.


    Have you listened to any of Nick Sullivan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. This is the first.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many. The sexual hysteria? Was it caused by Elvis or by the female fans themselves, as the author suggests? The statutory rape that was going on. (An underage girl cannot give consent). The vast number of women Elvis devoured and how many were underage, yet no one seems to notice. The excess. The blind devotion of friends which turned false in time. It's sad, brilliantly intriguing and real.


    Any additional comments?

    I was hooked the first minute of the foreword. This was after reading Careless Love, twice! I think you'll be enlightened by this treatment. Elvis didn't walk on water. In fact, he would sink faster than most.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Melisanthrope
    Alexandria, VA USA
    26/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pedestrian and Full of Inaccuracies"

    Just a rehashing of other biographies, and yet basic facts are not even stated correctly. I laughed out loud when Anita Wood was first characterised as a "friend" from Memphis...who married a Cleveland Indians player. Nope-her husband played for Elvis's fave football team, the Cleveland Browns. Just one example of the kind of simple errors that kept cropping up and undermining my overall confidence in this work. I would recommend the Goldman book over this, despite its tone. That is saying a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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