Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Double Trouble

Double Trouble

Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives

Greil Marcus

Henry Holt and Co.




From the critic who knows music and culture like no other, a fascinating look at two outsiders who epitomize America's fractured self-image

In June of 1992, when all polls showed Bill Clinton didn't have a chance, he took his saxophone onto the Arsenio Hall Show, put on dark glasses, and blew "Heartbreak Hotel." Greil Marcus, one of America's most imaginative and insightful critics, was the first to name this as the moment that turned Clinton's campaign around--and to make sense of why.
In Double Trouble, drawing on pieces he published from 1992 to 2000, Marcus explores the remarkable and illuminating kinship between Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley. In a cultural landscape where ideals and choices are increasingly compromised and commodified, the constantly mutating representations of Clinton and Elvis embody the American struggle over purity and corruption, fear and desire. Focusing as well on Hillary Clinton, Nirvana, Sinéad O'Connor, Andy Warhol, Roger Clinton, and especially Bob Dylan, Marcus pursues the question of how culture is made and how, through culture, people remake themselves. The result is a unique and essential book about the final decade of the twentieth century.



Part One
A Moral Crisis
In late February and early March I went from London to Dublin to Amsterdam to talk about a book on the culture that's grown...


Praise for Double Trouble

“His strongest work in the quarter-century since he published his classic Mystery Train . . . The finest rock critic around.” —Adam Liptak, The New York Observer

“Marcus is probably the world's greatest living rock critic, and a virtuoso at projecting the rockin' way of knowledge into the larger world outside . . . A mythic cultural history of Slick Willie's presidency.” —Charles Shaar Murray, The Independent (London)

“A collection of forty short essays brimming with savvy commentary, pithy anecdotes, trenchant observations, and rollicking satire . . . Offer[s] irresistibly offbeat glimpses into the zeitgeist of the last decade of the twentieth century.” —Douglas Brinkley, The Los Angeles Times

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Greil Marcus

Greil Marcus is the author of Invisible Republic, Dead Elvis, Lipstick Traces, and Mystery Train. His pieces have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Artforum, Interview, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Esquire.

Greil Marcus

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Greil Marcus