E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith

E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith

by John Strausbaugh

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Strausbaugh, associate editor of New York Press and author of Alone with the President, turns his journalistic insights and pleasurable prose to the continued devotion of Elvis fans. He traces similarities between the nature, icons and lore of their posthumous ``friendship'' with Elvis and the early history of many other cults and religions, from UFO groups to Cuban Santeria to Christianity. He picks up from Peter Guralnick (Last Train to Memphis) and Greil Marcus (Dead Elvis) a dedication to history, biography and iconography, and adds his own research, interviews, and theorizing to show how the continued love for the King since his death can be considered a new faith. He examines the Elvis faith systematically, including chapters on Elvis Week at Graceland, Elvis's interest in religion and the occult, historical worship of other Dionysian gods, Elvis healings and Elvis impersonators as priests of the new faith, in addition to the requisite treatments of relics and biography. An entertaining and provocative read, E's only flaw is that Strausbaugh repeats a few facts. Friends of Elvis should be impressed with this respectful treatment, and pop-culture hounds of all breeds will enjoy Strausbaugh's reports of Elvist rituals, dedicated research and smart read of all Elvis and Elvis-like phenomena. (Dec.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Don't laugh. Elvis Presley, whose home was visited by almost a million of the faithful last year, whose image sold one hundred million postage stamps, has transcended the constraints of mere rock'n'roll stardom to become an American icon as powerful as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Arnold Schwartzenegger. Or even...a saint? Strausbaugh (Alone with the President, LJ 1/94) seriously explores the cultic elements of Elvism: pilgrimages, shrines, sacred days, relics, and the nebulous but abiding image of Elvis, not as dead human, but as existing spiritual force. When one considers these as E does, paralleled with such grassroots religious risings as cargo cults and Virgin apparitions, a paradigm of popular religion easily takes shape. While this phenomenon may be too marginal to warrant the attention of most libraries, Strausbaugh's well-written, well-researched E certainly deserves a home on the shelves of larger music, religion, and most especially, cultural studies collections.-Bill Piekarski, Southwestern Coll. Lib., Chula Vista, Cal.

Product Details

Blast Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.99(w) x 8.99(h) x 0.55(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >